Chris Cook likely finished for regular season because of broken arm
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook won't be back anytime soon.
Coach Leslie Frazier said on Friday that Cook has a broken arm -- not a broken wrist, as was initially believed -- and will undergo surgery that is expected to sideline him for seven to eight weeks.
The Vikings placed Cook on injured reserve with a designation to return, hoping he might be back in time for the playoffs, Frazier said.
Cook must sit out of six weeks of practice and can be activated after eight weeks. That means the earliest game for which he could return would be the regular-season finale Dec. 30 against Green Bay.
Cook was injured while trying to tackle Buccaneers running back Doug Martin. He immediately grabbed his right forearm and jogged to the sideline, where the Vikings' athletic trainers examined him, then headed to the locker room for X-rays.
The loss is significant because Cook -- who underwent two knee surgeries as a rookie in 2010 and was placed on paid leave after an arrest last October, missing 10 games each time -- once again appeared to be ascending as he got more reps.
"He was doing well," Frazier said. "I think I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. I thought he was really coming along and he had a good game (Thursday) in the time that he was out there. He was playing well for us so it's unfortunate."
Frazier said that Cook was "distraught" about the injury.
Josh Robinson replaced Cook in the base defense and figures to start as long as Cook is out. A.J. Jefferson played in the nickel defense and Marcus Sherels in the dime. The Vikings also have Brandon Burton, who has appeared in only three games this season.
Jefferson was obtained in a Sept. 1 trade with Arizona.
"We've been working with him from the time we got him for occasions like this," Frazier said of Jefferson. "We know injuries occur. So we've been bringing him along and we've been putting him in ball games in nickel situations, dime situations. So he'll have to be ready now. We have an extra day or so to help him. But he'll have to play and probably play a lot."
Bobby Felder, who is on the practice squad, could be an option to replace Cook on the 53-man roster. Frazier said the Vikings could bring in one or more free agents for workouts as soon as Saturday, too.
In other injury news, tight end John Carlson (concussion) still hasn't been cleared but could be by the time the Vikings return to practice on Monday, Frazier said.