Injury report: Vikings preparing to play Dallas without Cook, Sanford
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings are preparing to be without safety Jamarca Sanford (groin) and cornerback Chris Cook (hip) for Sunday's game at the Dallas Cowboys.
Cook and Sanford have been sidelined this week after suffering injuries in Sunday night's loss to the Green Bay Packers. Both sat out Thursday and coach Leslie Frazier said he would still play either guy if they were to be cleared on Friday.
"It's a little scary when you start getting into your depth this early in the season," Frazier said. "You don't want it to get to this point, but we've got guys that will step up and we expect them to play well."
Safety Andrew Sendejo continues to take reps with the first-team defense in place of safety Harrison Smith, who is on injured reserve-to return with a foot injury. Safety Mistral Raymond is the likely candidate to start if Sanford can't go, leaving safety Robert Blanton as the only other option on the active roster.
Raymond was inactive for four of the first five games this season and played a season-high 50 snaps on Sunday night.
The Vikings may have to upgrade safety Brandan Bishop from the practice squad to serve as added depth.
"If we're down to three safeties, that's getting kind of thin there," Frazier said. "We don't want to go into it with three safeties. It gets dicey when that happens."
At cornerback, rookie Xavier Rhodes is the likely option to spell Cook. The Vikings haven't played Rhodes at right cornerback this season and would probably shift Josh Robinson to Cook's spot and have Rhodes take his normal spot on the left side. Cornerbacks A.J. Jefferson and Marcus Sherels are the other options.
"We'll figure it out here in the next day or so," Frazier said.
The injury bug bit the secondary at an unfortunate time, as Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo ranks third in the NFL with 18 touchdown passes this season.
Tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) and running back Matt Asiata (personal) both have no timetable to return.
Receiver Greg Jennings (knee) returned to be a limited participant on Thursday. Defensive tackle Fred Evans (knee) and tackle Phil Loadholt (illness) were also limited.