It was right away in the first three weeks of the season last year that the Vikings knew they had something special in running back Dalvin Cook.
Drafted in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Cook was the team's first selection after trading away their first round pick for Sam Bradford. With more than 300 yards and 2 TDs through his first three games as a pro, Dalvin made his impact felt early.
Then he tore his ACL.
It was a non-contact injury in which Cook planted his left foot for a cutback in Week 4 versus the Lions and his knee gave out, fully tearing the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
Now six and a half months post-op, Cook is back on the field with his Vikings teammates as they began offseason workouts. While he is wearing a large knee brace on the injured left knee, he is entering the "sweet spot" of the rehabilitation process where he can start moving, working with the team and expanding his range of motion.
"It's a process," Cook explained. "You dig deep and you soul search. [You ask yourself] what to you have in you? How hard do you want this? What's your motivation?"
As it stands today, Cook is slated to be a limited participant when the Vikings begin their Organized Team Activities period weeks from now, but according to certified athletic trainer Eric Sugarman he is scheduled to be ready and available for the Vikings week one matchup against the 49ers in September.
Cook understands that there's still a long way to go, but seeing the success of his team last season and hearing from his teammates throughout the process has him ready to go.
"I asked myself, do I want to still do this" Cook shared. "It's an injury that can make you or break you, I chose the route to not let it break me."