Dalvin Cook enters training camp set to battle for the Minnesota Vikings' featured running back role.
If Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer gets his way, the rookie will have more on his plate than just learning plays from the backfield.
Priefer told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday he's lobbying coach Mike Zimmer to use Cook on kickoff returns, per Alex Marvez. Priefer added he's not holding his breath over the request.
The Vikings have a need on kickoff returns after former first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson left for Oakland in free agency.
Cook wasn't the return man at Florida State, but owns the big-play ability to thrive in the role. You can certainly understand why Priefer would put in the request.
Cook heads to camp with the lead over Latavius Murray in the competition for the No. 1 running back role. How the backfield battle plays out will inform Zimmer's response to Priefer. Cook is the most talented runner the Vikings possess. We expect the second-round pick to lock down the top job, relegating Murray to short-yardage situations and Jerick McKinnon to pass-catching downs. If that prediction comes true, Priefer's dream of getting the rookie to return kicks is likely out the window.