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Updated: March 15th, 2012 3:17pm
Chris Cook unlikely to face NFL discipline, expected to rejoin Vikings

Chris Cook unlikely to face NFL discipline, expected to rejoin Vikings

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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A jury found Chris Cook innocent on all charges in his domestic assault trial on Thursday.

It appears the Minnesota Vikings cornerback won't face discipline from the NFL for the incident either.

"We will review the facts," league spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email, "but we do not expect league discipline in this matter."

Cook, 25, was charged with domestic assault by strangulation and third-degree assault in the incident involving his girlfriend at the time. Both are felonies and carried the possibility of prison time, but Thursday's verdict clears the way for Cook to resume his career.

The Vikings confirmed in a statement Cook will get another chance.

"We respect the legal process and the decision regarding Chris Cook," the Vikings said in a statement. "We have also thoroughly considered Chris' situation and how he has approached this matter. We will meet with Chris in the near future and believe he deserves the opportunity to rejoin our organization."

The Vikings initially suspended Cook after his Oct. 22 incident, which left him in jail during the Vikings' Oct. 23 game against the Green Bay Packers. Cook was reinstated to the active roster on Nov. 7, but the Vikings said he wouldn't practice or play with the team indefinitely.

The possibility of an NFL grievance played a role in the Vikings' decision to place Cook on what amounted to paid leave -- a move that wasn't popular in the locker room -- instead of releasing him immediately.

But perhaps more important was the reality that if Cook were acquitted, there would be a big market for an ascending player who was a second-round draft pick less than two years ago.

The arrest was Cook's second of 2011. In May, a Lynchburg, Va., judge dismissed a charge of brandishing a firearm against Cook after an altercation with his neighbor in March.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
In this story: Chris Cook
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