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Updated: September 17th, 2010 6:06pm
Notebook: Cook, Gerhart still waiting to make their regular-season debuts

Notebook: Cook, Gerhart still waiting to make their regular-season debuts

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings could have their top two draft picks in uniform on Sunday.

Or they could have neither of them for another week.

Cornerback Chris Cook and running back Toby Gerhart haven't seen game action since suffering knee injuries on Aug. 28 against Seattle. At that point, Cook had emerged as the front-runner to start at right cornerback and Gerhart seemed to be moving ahead of Albert Young for the No. 2 halfback role.

"I was pretty confident in myself, as far as getting the starting job," Cook said. "I didn't feel like I did anything to not earn it or not deserve it."

Cook had the more severe injury -- he said it was "heartbreaking" when he learned he needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus -- and was limited in practice all week, leaving him questionable on Friday's injury report.

But Cook seems to closer to making an impact than Gerhart, who fully participated in practice all week and is probable but lacks a defined role.

"Right now we're not differentiating with any of those guys," Childress said of his running backs. "We're not saying 'Hey, you're specifically a third-down guy.' All of them are versed in our regular package, our goal-line short-yardage package as well as our third-down package."

Cook will run before Sunday's game against Miami, as will Cedric Griffin (knee), and Childress said the status of both cornerbacks will be determined then.

Gerhart declared himself "full-go" on Wednesday, so if he's inactive again this week, odds are it won't have to do with the knee.

"It feels good," Gerhart said. "I feel no restrictions, no holding back, not thinking about it -- just going out there and letting everything be natural."

Rookie offensive lineman Chris DeGeare also has some chance of being active this week. None of the Vikings' eight draft picks were on the 45-man game-day roster against the Saints.

No pitch count

Last season, Childress kept Brett Favre on a "pitch count" in practice to limit wear on the veteran quarterback's surgically repaired throwing shoulder.

That pitch count doesn't exist this year, though.

"Not counting this year," Childress said. "Nope. Not counting."

According to Childress, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell previously had used a snap count with Favre in Green Bay, where Bevell was a Packers assistant from 2000 to '05.

"It seemed like a prudent thing to do," Childress said, "but he's probably a high of 40, 45 throws in a day, which is not too much."

Lending support

No stranger to tough losses and public criticism, Childress said he reached out to "U" football coach Tim Brewster after the Gophers' embarrassing loss to South Dakota last weekend.

"I call him because I know people avoid you like the plague or diphtheria or something like that when you lose," Childress said. "I called him, told him to keep his chin up."

The Gophers play 18th-ranked Southern California on Saturday.

"As bad as that loss was," Childress said, "this (game) would be a hell of a win."

Quick hits

• LT Bryant McKinnie got the stitches out of his right finger, which was dislocated in the New Orleans game and had to be reset surgically. "They fitted him with something, whatever they fit him for (Friday)," Childress said. "He'll play with a glove on. He's got his sutures out. He should be OK."

• Childress wouldn't address the Vikings' reported interest in receiver Vincent Jackson, who isn't under contract but remains property of the San Diego Chargers. Interested teams had until 3 p.m. Friday to request permission from the Chargers to discuss contract terms with Jackson.

• WRs Bernard Berrian and Greg Camarillo both could get work on punt returns on Sunday, Childress said.

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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