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Updated: August 28th, 2010 10:01pm
Notebook: Chris Cook strong in starting debut before hurting knee

Notebook: Chris Cook strong in starting debut before hurting knee

by Tom Pelissero
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Cook did nothing to hurt himself in his bid to win the starting job at right cornerback.

The rookie second-round draft pick made two impressive stops in run support, including an ankle tackle of Leon Washington on third down, in the Minnesota Vikings' 24-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.

"I feel that I have done all I can," Cook said. "Again, I am not the decision-maker. Coach (Leslie) Frazier and the other coaches (will make) that decision."

He also was targeted an unofficial three times and didn't allow a reception before departing in the third quarter with a knee injury. 

"We've got to look at the tape," coach Brad Childress said. "I'm not sure how many coverage opportunities he had, but I think he did a good job reacting to screens inside."

Cook's return from the injury was listed as questionable, but odds are his night was over anyway, and he received little attention from trainers after they wrapped the knee.

"Just a little ding," Cook said. "I will be out there next week."

Asher Allen handled nickel duties until Cook left, then shifted to left cornerback opposite Lito Sheppard as the second string took over.

Walker scores

If Javon Walker makes the Vikings' roster, his 25-yard touchdown catch will be one reason why.

The veteran receiver went over one Seattle defender and came down with the ball next to another, showing great concentration to haul in Sage Rosenfels' touch pass and give the Vikings their first lead with 7 minutes, 9 seconds to go.

Walker's celebration was what one might expect from a player still miffed after playing in only three games last season with the Oakland Raiders, who he blamed again for putting him in a "misfortunous situation."

"Just a lot of emotion, a lot of built-up anger," Walker said. "They know who I'm talking about. But that's in the past. It's over with now. It all got out on that touchdown, and I've moved forward."

At age 31, Walker isn't a downfield threat anymore, but the ability to make plays like that in the red zone is a skill that could help him stick around.

Quarterback Brett Favre, who also played with Walker in Green Bay, led the celebration on the sideline.

"That's a pretty outstanding catch," Favre said. "We really needed to see that. ... Like I told him when we brought him in, 'If you can get half the magic back that you had, it'll be pretty good.'"

Reynaud the returner?

Depending on Percy Harvin's health, Darius Reynaud looks like a good bet to start the season as the Vikings' kick and punt returner.

Reynaud set up the Vikings' first touchdown with a 73-yard kickoff return and averaged 13 yards on two punt returns.

"Feeling pretty good, man," Reynaud said. "Two years in the book. I feel more comfortable. I think it's working out well right now."

Allen -- who lined up just in front of Reynaud on the first couple of punts -- did have his best return of an often-shaky preseason, taking a punt 35 yards in the third quarter.

Childress said he's "not sure yet" whether Reynaud will be the primary return man early in the season. That decision could boil down to whether coaches want to be cautious Harvin, who returned to action on Saturday after his migraine-related collapse during practice on Aug. 19.

"Obviously, 'D-Ray' always comes in and makes something happen," Childress said. "One returner and 10 blockers is going to do a great job moving that thing." 

Health watch

Running back Toby Gerhart and safety Husain Abdullah each received medical attention on their right legs in the second half. Neither returned, but neither injury seemed significant.

Gerhart, who appeared to injure his right knee, said he "just got bent backwards a little bit underneath the pile" and that his departure was "just precautionary."

Abdullah wasn't in the locker room after the game. But his brother, Arizona Cardinals safety Hamza Abdullah, said in a Twitter message that Husain Abdullah "is good. He just cramped up."

Defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy was the Vikings' only scratch. He missed the entire week after suffering an undisclosed injury at San Francisco, but Childress on Thursday said Kennedy's injury wasn't a "long-term" concern.

Quick hits

• MLB E.J. Henderson played a series into the second half with the rest of the Vikings' defensive starters and displayed no obvious stamina issues in his most extensive action since coming back from a fractured femur. Henderson continued to handle nickel snaps alongside OLB Chad Greenway.

• CB Marcus Sherels all but sealed the Vikings' win by intercepting Seahawks backup QB Charlie Whitehurst, who made an ankle tackle on the rookie at the Seattle 20-yard line. "That was a little embarrassing," Sherels said. "I should have scored." Fellow rookie FB Ryan D'Imperio capped the Vikings' ensuing drive by breaking two tackles to break the plane for a 7-yard touchdown.

• Seattle scratched 10 players: CB Josh Pinkard, G Ben Hamilton, LB Leroy Hill, LB David Hawthorne, G Chester Pitts, T Ray Willis, T Russell Okung, TE Chris Baker, DT Kentwan Balmer, DE Nick Reed.

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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