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Updated: October 13th, 2010 1:14pm
Chris Cook back on practice field, says he's pushing to be ready for Sunday

Chris Cook back on practice field, says he's pushing to be ready for Sunday

by Tom Pelissero
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Chris Cook was back on the field on Wednesday morning, but the Minnesota Vikings' rookie cornerback didn't appear to be going full speed during the sliver of practice reporters were allowed to view.

"First day out, of course I'm going to be kind of tentative, but I felt pretty good," said Cook, who has had two minor knee surgeries in the past 1½ months. "I finished the day out, no problems."

Coach Brad Childress on Tuesday said Cook has a chance to be ready for Sunday's against the Dallas Cowboys, and Cook acknowledged he is "definitely" pushing hard to be ready for that game.

However, Cook's status plus a season-ending knee injury to Cedric Griffin prompted the Vikings to bring in two cornerbacks on Wednesday -- veteran Frank Walker on the active roster and rookie Marcus Sherels on the practice squad.

"I went in whenever they told me to go in," Cook said of his practice participation. "I went through individual, warm-up, got a couple of shots in the team periods. It wasn't too heavy (Wednesday). It wasn't a heavy load."

Cook missed the preseason finale and two regular-season games after the first surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee on Aug. 29. Childress has said Cook is on a faster tract to recover from the more recent surgery, which repaired a slight meniscus tear in his left knee last week.

The Vikings' top draft pick, Cook suffered the injury Sept. 26 at Detroit, but he went home for the bye week thinking it was just a bruise that would heal. When the pain didn't subside, the team told him to come back early, and an MRI revealed the tear.

"It's getting old quick," Cook said of the injuries. "I can't get too down about it. I let it get to me when it first happened. It's been a week now. I had the surgery to get it better, and I'm not mad about it anymore. ... Now I'm just happy to be back."

Griffin's injury makes Cook the leading candidate to start at right cornerback once he's fully healthy -- "It's a good likelihood," Cook said -- but it's unclear when that'll be. Asher Allen started the first two games while Griffin and Cook were sidelined and probably is the No. 2 option.

Sherels, who spent training camp with the Vikings and was on the practice squad earlier this season, is believed to have replaced tight end John Nalbone.

More injuries

Four players -- quarterback Brett Favre (ankle/right elbow), center John Sullivan (calf), safety Jamarca Sanford (back) and offensive lineman Chris DeGeare (ankle) -- were listed as nonparticipants in practice.

The injuries to Sanford and DeGeare weren't previously known. Sanford jogged on the side during practice, and DeGeare was spotted earlier in the day with a walking boot on his left foot.

Favre wore a wrap on his ailing throwing elbow and handed off a few times during individual drills, but he didn't throw a pass and apparently sat out team drills altogether. Sullivan watched from the sideline.

Cook, end Brian Robison (ankle), tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) and safety Madieu Williams (shoulder) were listed as limited participants. It's the first time Williams has appeared on the injury report this season.

In Dallas, safety Alan Ball (shoulder), receiver Dez Bryant (ribs/ankle), linebacker Bradie James (knee) and end Igor Olshansky (knee) did not participate. Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle) was limited and fullback Chris Gronkowski (groin) was a full participant.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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