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Updated: December 10th, 2010 3:55pm
Notebook: Vikings might shut down top draft pick Chris Cook for season

Notebook: Vikings might shut down top draft pick Chris Cook for season

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Chris Cook's rookie season may be over. Mercifully.

Interim coach Leslie Frazier on Friday confirmed the Minnesota Vikings are considering shutting down their top draft pick, who enjoyed a breakout training camp before two knee surgeries stunted his progress.

"We're discussing a lot of things with Chris, and that is one part of the discussion," Frazier said. "He is a rookie. He's a guy we think has a great future with our football team. We're going through some different scenarios and trying to do what's best for him and the team as well."

Cook hasn't played since Nov. 21, when he was benched for the second time in less than a month against the Green Bay Packers, and the Vikings already have ruled him out for Sunday's game against the New York Giants, too.

Though Frazier recently said Cook has been dealing with swelling in both knees, the second-round pick out of Virginia on Friday said the left knee is the problem. That's the one in which he partially tore a meniscus in his NFL debut on Sept. 26 -- only 29 days after suffering a similar, but more significant injury in the right knee.

"It's just something I can't get over right now," Cook said. "I don't know what it is. It's a little dull pain whenever I run on it or do any type of movements. The biggest problem is just changing direction; as a (defensive back), that's all I do. If I can't do that well, I can't play."

Cook didn't realize at the time of the second injury he had anything more than a bruise, so he went home for the bye week. That delayed surgery, yet he was back on the practice field on Oct. 13 and returned to game action 11 days after that at Green Bay.

Asked whether he came back too soon, Cook said, "Some people think I rushed it. That could have been it, but I felt good at the time. It was a decision I made at the time based on the way I felt. I felt I was good enough to play."

Cook said doctors simply have told him to rest and allow the muscles around the knee to get stronger. He hasn't heard anything about being shut down but remains hopeful he'll have at least one more chance to salvage something from the season.

"I wasn't planning on this happening," Cook said. "In my mind, I would have been rookie of the year, defensive rookie of the year, with 10 interceptions. It didn't go that way. Hopefully, when I get back -- whenever I get back -- I will perform at a high level."

Peterson feeling better

Adrian Peterson didn't play like a guy with a sprained ankle last weekend against Buffalo. But for what it's worth, the All-Pro halfback said on Friday afternoon he's feeling better.

"A lot better than I did last week," Peterson said. "Last week, I didn't know coming into Saturday if I would be able to go or not. But it's not a question this week."

Frazier admitted after Sunday's game -- in which Peterson rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-14 washout -- he nearly deactivated Peterson after an uninspiring pregame workout.

Only after a lengthy discussion involving running backs coach Eric Bieniemy, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman, among others, did Frazier yield to Peterson and put him on the 45-man game day roster.

"It was kind of funny," Peterson said, "because after the game, he was like, 'Man, can you really believe I wasn't going to let you play?' I was like, 'Yeah.'"

Same old thing for Tarvaris

In any other situation, taking the lion's share of practice reps would have backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson thinking he'd start on Sunday.

Being Brett Favre's backup, however, is its own animal.

"I've learned to kind of get used to it a little bit, even though you don't really want to," Jackson said. "I just know the situation I'm in right now and I try to make the best of it."

Favre, who left the Buffalo game after three plays with a sprained sternoclavicular joint, didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday and was limited on Friday. However, he's expected to test the injury before Sunday's game, and Jackson admitted he'd be "kind of surprised" if Favre doesn't make his 298th consecutive regular-season start.

"This whole situation has been a different situation," Jackson said. "I'm not going to even sit here and act like it hasn't. It's been a difficult situation, but I just try to make the best out of it. It's a privilege to be in this league, and I'm not promised anything. So, I just try to come out here and be the best player I can be and the best teammate I can be."

Quick hits

• Another week ended with no resolution in the NFL's long-running investigation into allegations of sexually charged misconduct against Favre during his time with the New York Jets in 2008. "We are continuing our due diligence," league spokesman Greg Aiello posted on his Twitter page. "There will be no decision today or this weekend."

• Two Bills were fined for personal fouls in last week's game. The NFL docked RB Quinton Ganther $5,000 and OL Andy Levitre $7,500 for unnecessary roughness. Ganther hit Vikings P Chris Kluwe away from a play. Levitre hit CB Lito Sheppard late as Sheppard stood near a pile.

• Friday practices have been shorter under Frazier, who said the change is related in part to the need to keep players fresh late in the season. This week's was "probably as good of Friday practice as we've had in a while," Frazier said. The guys were really into it. Great energy, great focus, it was good work. Really gets you excited about the direction that we're going as a group. We've got to go out and play a very good football team on Sunday but you can't fault the effort of our group. They are really working hard."

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.
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