In NFL terms, Cook is a commodity – a young player with promise. The Vikings had high expectations of Cook, which were only increased when he was the talk of training camp in Mankato.
But after suffering a pair of meniscus tears – one in each knee – the Vikings are contemplating sitting their prized rookie down for the rest of the season.
Cook, who said is hoping to play next week, was quick to admit that the prospect of closing down his rookie season is a distinct possibility – even if the coaching staff that does so isn't around the reap the ultimate benefit.
"You definitely have to be smart about it." Cook said. "I don't want to play for just one year. I don't want to keep forcing it and forcing it and then have a bigger issue pop up and then my career ends up getting shortened. God forbid. You have to be smart about injuries."
Head coach Leslie Frazier admitted that shelving Cook with four games to go is a possibility, saying that the coaching staff is considering a full shut-down as an option.
"We're discussing a lot of things with Chris and that is one part of the discussion," Frazier said. "He is a rookie. He is 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 said his rookie season hasn't been what he anticipated, especially given the promise with which it began. He had some lofty goals in mind, but two torn meniscus tendons and "dull pain" and inflammation afterward scuttled those plans.
"I wasn't planning on this happening," Cook said. "In my mind, I would have been defensive rookie of the year with 10 interceptions. But it didn't go that way and, hopefully, when I get back, I perform at a high level.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.