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Updated: December 13th, 2013 1:50pm
Injury report: Rhodes, Fusco doubtful and Chris Cook is questionable

Injury report: Rhodes, Fusco doubtful and Chris Cook is questionable

by Andrew Krammer
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- When it rains, it pours on the Minnesota Vikings. 

At 3-9-1, one of the NFL's worst pass defenses took another hit at cornerback on Friday when Chris Cook was added to the injury report with a knee ailment. He was limited in practice and is quesitonable for Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Coach Leslie Frazier didn't mention the injury at his press conference, but talked about how cornerback Xavier Rhodes (ankle) is doubtful to play and further thins their secondary. 

"Thin as we are, everybody is a candidate to move around and play chess with, so you don't rule out any possibilities at this point," Frazier said. 

Former college cornerback and NFL safety Robert Blanton already converted back to cornerback as he's filled the slot role left vacant by the injured Josh Robinson (chest). Blanton has worked on the outside during the past few weeks at practice, per Frazier, and could be a candidate to fill Cook's spot. 

Cornerback Marcus Sherels will start in place of Rhodes, while cornerback Shaun Prater is the only other option on the team's current 53-man roster. 

Fusco doubtful

Right guard Brandon Fusco played five snaps in Sunday's loss at the Baltimore Ravens before exiting with a knee injury. Reserve lineman Joe Berger continued to take his place in practice on Friday as he's missed all week and is listed as doubtful for Sunday. 

Rookie guard Jeff Baca took Berger's spot on kickoff return during the team's Friday walkthroughs, meaning the Vikings are preparing as if Fusco won't go. Although, Frazier didn't shut the door on a surprise return. 

"Fusco may have a chance, he'll be listed questionable for this ball game," Frazier said. 

Carlson, Robinson out 

Tight end John Carlson sat out again Friday after missing all week from a concussion he suffered in Sunday's loss. This is Carlson's fifth reported concussion in his football career as he also missed time last season due to brain injuries. 

Tight end Rhett Ellison will start in place of Carlson, who was already filling in for Kyle Rudolph after his own season-ending injury last month. 

Cornerback Josh Robinson (chest) will miss his fourth straight game after fracturing his sternum in a loss at the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 17. He has not practiced since the injury. 

Harrison Smith return likely

Safety Harrison Smith hasn't played since his foot injury in an Oct. 13 loss to the Carolina Panthers, but he'll likely make his scheduled return off the injured reserve list on Sunday. 

Barring a setback in a Saturday workout, Smith will be activated precisely after the eighth week on injured reserve and should play a limited role against the Eagles. 

"[Smith] practiced pretty well this week, we'll see where he is tomorrow. So far so good," Frazier said. "If there's no problems tomorrow, we're going to get him on the field on Sunday."

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for 1500ESPN.com. He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer
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