Vikings CB Chris Cook ‘ready to bounce back'?

A former teammate of Chris Cook said he talks to the Vikings cornerback "all the time" and he's "ready to bounce back." The Vikings are still waiting to see if that's the case for the cornerback who has a felony charge against him.

While Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook prepares for his defense trial in March against allegations of felony domestic abuse, a former college teammate of his said Cook is doing "fine."

Virginia cornerback Chase Minnifield, who was at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, said he keeps in contact with Cook and talked to him right before Minnifield went to Indianapolis to try to impress NFL scouts and coaches.

"He's doing fine. He's doing alright. He's working hard and he's ready to bounce back," Minniefield said of Cook.

Cook has showed the potential to be a starting cornerback for the Vikings, and the team could use his abilities at a position that needs to be upgraded. But after playing in the first six games of the 2011 season, starting three of them, he was arrested for after an incident with his then-girlfriend and charged with the felony count after choking the woman, according to the police report.

"Chris Cook is a great guy. He's one of the best talents that I've been around," Minnifield said. "He knows the game. What really stands out is his physical ability, his stature, and the game comes easy to him."

Minor surgeries to each of Cook's knees derailed his rookie season in 2010, when he played in six games, starting five of them, before eventually being placed on injured reserve.

The Vikings are keeping in contact with Cook, as well.

"Chris Cook is – nothing has changed since the last time we spoke on him," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said earlier this month. "That means status quo."

"Just waiting for the legal process to take its course."

The Vikings don't have to make a decision on Cook's status with the team until final roster cuts are due the week before the regular-season opener. Last year, the team opted to suspend him for only half of the allowed four games, per the collective bargaining agreement, after his arrest. That meant two games without pay, a move that irritated some of his teammates who saw him continuing to get paid for the final eight games despite not coming to the team's facilities.

"I've spoken to Chris a few times. You would hope – and again, I'm not a professional – but I know you would think that someone who had to go through what he had to go through has grown from that experience and is going to mature from that experience, too," Spielman said.

The Vikings could look to free agency and the draft to bolster their position at cornerback and appear willing to proceed as if Cook will not be part of the team while his legal battle continues.

"I just say you can never have enough good corners," Spielman said. "So you're always trying to get good corners regardless, especially in the division we play."

Meanwhile, Minnifield said he talks to Cook "all the time" and appreciated the competition he and Ras-I Dowling, a 2011 second-round pick of the New England Patriots, provided at the cornerback position over recent years at Virginia.

"Me, Chris and Ras-I, we pushed each other. They were the big guys and that pushed me to try to get where they were," Minnifield said. "We competed against each other's stats, just in workouts in general. Over those years that we were together, we just fed off each other's energy."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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He's one of the best talents that I've been around,\" Minnifield said. \"He knows the game. What really stands out is his physical ability, his stature, and the game comes easy to him.\" Minor surgeries to each of Cook's knees derailed his rookie season in 2010, when he played in six games, starting five of them, before eventually being placed on injured reserve. The Vikings are keeping in contact with Cook, as well. \"Chris Cook is – nothing has changed since the last time we spoke on him,\" Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said earlier this month. \"That means status quo.\" \"Just waiting for the legal process to take its course.\" The Vikings don't have to make a decision on Cook's status with the team until final roster cuts are due the week before the regular-season opener. Last year, the team opted to suspend him for only half of the allowed four games, per the collective bargaining agreement, after his arrest. That meant two games without pay, a move that irritated some of his teammates who saw him continuing to get paid for the final eight games despite not coming to the team's facilities. \"I've spoken to Chris a few times. You would hope – and again, I'm not a professional – but I know you would think that someone who had to go through what he had to go through has grown from that experience and is going to mature from that experience, too,\" Spielman said. 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