EAGAN, Minn. — NFL leading rusher Dalvin Cook will sit out Minnesota’s game on Sunday against Atlanta because of a groin injury, giving Alexander Mattison the opportunity for his first career start at running back.

The Vikings also announced Friday that right guard Dru Samia (wrist), cornerback Kris Boyd (hamstring) and wide receiver/kick returner K.J. Osborn (hamstring) were ruled out for the game. Cornerback Holton Hill (foot) was listed as doubtful to face the Falcons.

The Vikings have their bye scheduled for next week, so Cook’s absence was likely after getting hurt in the second half last week at Seattle. Mattison rushed for a career-high 112 yards in relief.

Samia has started the last four games for Pat Elflein, who is on injured reserve with a thumb injury. His absence will likely pave the way for second-round draft pick Ezra Cleveland to make his debut in the lineup on Sunday.

FALCONS: Seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones returned to practice as a limited participant and hopes to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

Jones has played just one half of the last three games because of a hamstring injury. Friday marked the first day he was able to get onto the field in the last two weeks.

BROWNS: Odell Beckham Jr. missed another practice because of COVID-19 protocols, but Baker Mayfield, who has been slowed this week by sore ribs, appears ready to play in Sunday’s hyped AFC North matchup against the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers.

Beckham’s status remains uncertain after the star wide receiver was kept away from the team’s facility for the second straight day. He was sent home feeling ill on Thursday.

Beckham tested negative for coronavirus on Friday, but per league guidelines, he can’t rejoin his teammates and practice until he has a second negative COVID test within a 24-hour period. The team listed him as questionable for the matchup against the Steelers (4-0).

STEELERS: Pittsburgh will face Cleveland without Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro and wide receiver Diontae Johnson.

DeCastro has an abdominal injury and did not practice this week. Johnson, Pittsburgh’s second-leading receiver behind JuJu Smith-Schuster, injured his back on a punt return in last weekend’s win over the Eagles.

PACKERS: Coach Matt LaFleur says wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive tackle Kenny Clark will be “ready to go” Sunday at Tampa Bay after both players missed multiple games because of injuries.

Cornerback Kevin King’s status for the Buccaneers game is much less certain as he deals with a quadriceps injury. King was a limited participant in Friday’s practice after not practicing at all Wednesday or Thursday.

JAGUARS: Jacksonville could be without Pro Bowl receiver DJ Chark against Detroit on Sunday.

Coach Doug Marrone listed Chark as questionable for the game. If he can’t go, Chark would be sidelined for the second time in four weeks. Chark missed a Week 3 game against Miami because of a chest/back injury. He sprained an ankle last week at Houston and was limited to three receptions for 16 yards.

Chark has 18 catches for 220 yards and three touchdowns this season.

LIONS: Detroit ruled out cornerback Desmond Trufant for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville and put tight end Hunter Bryant on injured reserve.

Trufant has a hamstring injury. Bryant is dealing with hamstring and concussion issues.

PLAYERS COALITION, a nonprofit founded by Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins, is donating $350,000 in grants nationwide to help provide K-12 students and schools with internet access, broadband connectivity and technology devices to make learning from home easier.

The grants are being awarded to 11 districts, schools and technology programs in Baltimore, Boston, New York, Dallas, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle, Washington, Ector County in Texas, and Palm Beach, Florida.

Players Coalition partnered with Chiefs for Change to ensure connectivity for low-income students in several of the selected markets.

 


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