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Updated: September 22nd, 2010 5:16pm
Notebook: Chris Cook fully participates in practice, could play this week

Notebook: Chris Cook fully participates in practice, could play this week

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Lost in all the receiver drama surrounding the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday was this piece of positive news:

Rookie cornerback Chris Cook was listed as a full participant in practice for the first time since undergoing knee surgery Aug. 29 and appears closer than ever to making his NFL debut.

"It feels way better than it did a week ago and definitely two weeks ago," Cook said of the knee, which required surgery to repair a torn meniscus after he injured it in the Vikings' third preseason game.

"I feel like I'm getting ready right now, and hopefully, my number gets called on Sunday."

The Vikings certainly could use Cook's size (6-foot-2, 212 pounds) on Sunday against the Detroit Lions and receiver Calvin Johnson (6-5, 236), whom in the past they've matched against Cedric Griffin (6-foot, 203).

Griffin remains limited nearly eight months after knee reconstruction, and the three healthy cornerbacks the Vikings have carried into their first two games -- Antoine Winfield, Asher Allen and Lito Sheppard -- all are 5-10 or shorter.

The New Orleans Saints attacked Allen early in the Sept. 9 opener, and the Miami Dolphins went after Sheppard on Sunday, completing a 46-yard pass to Brandon Marshall and a 5-yard touchdown pass to Brian Hartline against him on the opening series.

Cook appeared to have beaten out Allen and Sheppard for the starting job opposite Winfield before his injury sidelined him. Cook and Griffin both worked out for trainers before the Miami game but were inactive for a second straight week.

Asked if he's gotten an indication from the team's medical staff whether he'll be cleared to play this week, Cook said, "They just tell me to keep them informed how I feel as I go through practice this week and, I guess, as I get to the game."

Revisiting fourth-and-goal

After reviewing the tape from Sunday's loss, running back Adrian Peterson said he was "not really" comfortable with his read on a failed fourth-and-goal play in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings' tight ends were slow off the ball on the play, allowing the Miami defense to crowd Peterson's path to the perimeter, but he still felt he could have turned the corner.

"When I look at that play, I feel like, man, if I could have stretched it out a step more, maybe I could have kept it to the outside and ran to the pylon," said Peterson, who instead cut inside and was stuffed by Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby at the goal line.

"I made my decision and you've got to stick with it. I feel there's a lot I could have done different."

Peterson also acknowledged two other miscues on that series -- his slip in the backfield on an outside-zone play and his impatience on a second-down play that went for no gain.

If not for those errors, Peterson said, "I walk into the end zone. I'm very critical of myself and those are things that I'm going to eliminate."

No concussion concern

Vikings coach Brad Childress on Monday said Jahvid Best's concussions turned off the Vikings from drafting him with the No. 30 overall pick, which the Detroit Lions ended up acquiring in April and using to take the former California star.

The move has paid off so far for Detroit -- through two games, Best has 268 combined rushing and receiving yards and five touchdowns.

"He had one major concussion," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "I think that a lot of people looked at that, and there's always a concern anytime a player has an issue like that. But all our reports and everything else led us to believe that he had put that behind him and he was no more susceptible than any other player."

Best suffered a concussion last Nov. 7 in a game against Oregon State and was held out of the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 23 -- after he'd submitted paperwork to enter the NFL draft.

"I think a lot of teams also held that against him -- the fact that six weeks later he didn't play in a game," Schwartz said. "But we were comfortable with where he was. Running backs take hits -- that's a fact of life in the NFL -- and they deal with injuries and things like that all the time. But we liked what Jahvid brought to the table. We thought he fit very well in what we wanted to do offensively."

Quick hits

• WLB Ben Leber (back) was limited in practice but said he feels "good. Everything's under control and I'll be ready to go on Sunday."

• WR Percy Harvin (hip/illness) was the only player who didn't practice at all. WR Bernard Berrian (knee), Griffin and Leber were limited, while Cook, DT Jimmy Kennedy (knee), LT Bryant McKinnie (finger), C John Sullivan (calf) and QB Brett Favre (ankle) were full participants.

• Five Lions didn't practice: WR Nate Burleson (ankle), S Louis Delmas (groin/biceps/calf), LB Zack Follett (concussion), G Stephen Peterman (foot) and QB Matthew Stafford (right shoulder), whom Schwartz wouldn't rule out for Sunday. DE Cliff Avril (knee/finger), S C.C. Brown (forearm) and LB DeAndre Levy (groin) were limited.

• The Vikings waived rookie TE Mickey Shuler to make room on the 53-man roster for WR Hank Baskett, an NFL source said. If Shuler isn't claimed by Thursday afternoon, the Vikings are expected to re-sign him to the practice squad.

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
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