Knowing that Dalvin Cook was on the right path to fully recover from an ACL tear, the Minnesota Vikings Latavius Murray could have fired and saved a few bones on the salary cap. Instead, they reworked his contract and let the veteran run aboard again. This decision has already proved correct.
Last week saw Murray make a career with 155 yards in the Vikings' 27:17 win. Minnesota's offensive also killed the last three minutes of the game by beating the Cardinals in the running game.
Murray was pushed into the No. 1 by another Cook injury as it was last season. This time around, Florida State's former star suffered a thigh injury that kept him back in Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5.
Attack Coordinator John DeFilippo is not surprised that Murray got up in Cook's apartment. He knows the veteran back, since both were at the beginning of the Murray career with the Raiders.
"I have a unique perspective because I was in Oakland when we designed Latavius," DeFilippo said. "He was a really good player at school but had a foot injury and has been quite editing his rookie year The first sign that Latavius would be a really good pro was that he treated every day like that If he was the starter … People who have this starting attitude tend to find a niche in this league. "
Last year Murray won 842 yards and scored eight touchdowns. After a big day against the cards, he has an average of 4.8 yards per jersey this season.
"Latavius has a way of carrying people," DeFilippo said. "Even if he stops at the line of attack or the point of contact is a meter or two away, there is always a sergeant in our favor, he's a big guy, and he's going to go forward, just his size and strength and what a downhiller he is. "
While Murray's runnability brought him to the Pro Bowl in 201
"I think he has much better hands than people credit him," said DeFilippo. "And another reason why he has been able to work his way up a niche in this league so long is that he really understands passport protection, and for me he is completely back."
DeFilippo noted that the differences between Murray and Cook are difficult if the status of the latter is unclear every week. Cook was a full participant on Wednesday, but did not train on Thursday. Head Coach Mike Zimmer added praise for Murray and said his personality is responsible for the success of the sixth round.
"Number one, he's a great person," Zimmer said. "He's very busy at work, training hard, but he has good feet and acceleration, he read very well yesterday, I thought, he's running his pads forward, and when he gets a chance, this guy rarely gets backwards go when he gets hit, many of those things that I really like. "