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Running back Alexander Mattison won’t play Sunday because of illness

Alexander Mattison
Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison is brought down by the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Vikings running back Alexander Mattison will miss Sunday’s game against Jacksonville at U.S. Bank Stadium because of an illness. The Vikings made the announcement Saturday afternoon but provided no other information. Mattison was not placed on the COVID-19 reserve list.

With starting running back Dalvin Cook playing Sunday despite an ankle injury suffered last week against Carolina, Mattison was expected to get more work than usual. Cook was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but took part in all of Friday’s session. He was given no designation on the injury report Friday.

Mattison, a third-round pick in 2019, only has 20 rushing attempts in five games since the Vikings returned from their bye week. He has 93 yards on those carries. Cook, meanwhile, has 127 rushing attempts for 641 yards and six touchdowns and 17 receptions for 191 yards and a touchdown since the bye. That comes out to an average of 28.8 touches per game and 25.4 rushing attempts.

The Vikings are 4-1 in that time and have a chance to pull to 6-6 with a win over the Jaguars. Minnesota started the season 1-5.

Mattison has 338 yards on 74 carries and a touchdown in 11 games and has caught nine passes for 61 yards. Mike Boone is the Vikings’ third running back. He has 15 yards on three rushing attempts and has caught one pass for 6 yards this season.