See more of the story

Ask Dalvin Cook if he's playing Sunday against the Saints in London and, well, here's what you'll get …

"I'm going to nip that question in the bud right now," said the Vikings running back, who dislocated his left shoulder in the third quarter of Sunday's win over the Lions and didn't return.

"It's a day-to-day thing. Just trying to get better. Come Sunday, we'll figure it out."

Coach Kevin O'Connell said Cook is "feeling better and better," but also said the star running back is day-to-day after being held out of practice Wednesday.

Asked if he's a coach who needs to see a player practice before playing him in a game that week, O'Connell said he approaches that on a "case-by-case basis." Cook is unlikely to practice Thursday before the team boards its flight to London. The next practice is a typical light Friday workout in London followed by a walk-through on Saturday.

Ham, Za'Darius Smith sit

Also missing practice and listed on Wednesday's injury report were fullback C.J. Ham (foot), outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (knee) and cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (quad).

Safety Harrison Smith, who missed the last game because of a concussion, was a full participant in Wednesday's practice. Also listed on the injury report with full participation was Eric Kendricks (toe). The linebacker played well last Sunday after being listed as questionable because of the toe injury.

Winston out, but expected back

Banged-up Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, who has an injured ankle and fractures in his back, didn't practice Wednesday in London as backup Andy Dalton ran the first-team offense with Taysom Hill backing him up.

Afterward, Saints coach Dennis Allen downplayed Winston's absence, saying, "It's more just trying to rest and trying to make sure he's healthy." He anticipated Winston would be back at practice Thursday.

Three other Saints starters — left guard Andrus Peat (concussion), right tackle Ryan Ramczyk (not injury-related/rest) and receiver Michael Thomas (foot) — didn't practice Wednesday. Neither did receiver Jarvis Landry (ankle).

Targeting Jefferson

Three weeks after a career-high 184 yards and two touchdowns on nine catches and 11 targets, Justin Jefferson is now coming off a career-low 14 yards on three catches and six targets.

So, Kirk Cousins, what are you going to do about it?

"We'll just keep trying to see week to week how teams defend him and take advantage of opportunities when we can," Cousins said. "I think the key will be offensive production, regardless of who's getting the ball. I think it will be important that we're moving the football, and scoring points is what really matters.

"However we do that is great by me, but certainly it would suggest that if Justin is there he's a great option to try to do that."