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Vikings notes: Smith hopes to avoid surgery for turf toe

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS
  • Star Tribune
  • October 24, 2013 - 12:57 AM

 

Vikings safety Harrison Smith said Wednesday he’s hopeful that rest, and not surgery, will enable his turf toe injury to heal in time for him to return this season.

Smith suffered the injury on his left foot in a loss to Carolina on Oct. 13. The team placed him on injured reserve with a designation to return after eight games. He’s eligible to return to practice after six weeks and can return to the field for the Dec. 15 game against Philadelphia.

Surgery would end Smith’s season because full recovery takes at least four months.

“There is a possibility that it could require surgery,” Smith said. “Hopefully it won’t and I’ll be able to come back.”

Smith said the plan is to keep his foot immobilized to see how it responds to rest. If that doesn’t work, surgery likely will be required.

Smith suffered the injury — a ligament sprain near the big toe joint — when he planted his foot while going for a tackle and had several players land on top of him.

“I tried to walk it off,” he said. “But I couldn’t put any weight on it.”

Smith joked that turf toe “sounds like such a nonserious injury in my mind.” But he admitted the injury was “one of the more painful things I’ve had on the football field.”

He consulted several doctors and specialists before deciding to put off surgery in favor of rest. That included his father, Steven, who is a plastic surgeon.

Smith joked about having a plastic surgeon for a dad, “I looked completely different. This is a whole new face.”

Stuck on zero

Cornerback Chris Cook still has not intercepted a pass in 27 career games. He was in position to grab his first one Monday night, but Giants receiver Rueben Randle leapt over Cook in the end zone and hauled in the ball for a 24-yard touchdown catch.

“I should have made the play, could have made the play,” Cook said. “But he made a good play. What else can I say?”

Asked what he could have done differently, Cook said, “I lost the ball in the lights a little bit, but [it’s a] no-excuse league. I still should have made the play.”

Apparently, Cook received a quite a negative reaction on Twitter, and he posted a few harsh comments after the game.

“It wasn’t upsetting me,” he said. “I just wanted to put it out there and let people see what people actually say to me. I was laughing at it. … I’m able to laugh it off now. In the past it bothered me. But now I’m, ‘OK, whatever.’ ”

Even so, Cook admits he blocked “quite a few” Twitter followers Monday night.

“My block list has gotten pretty long,” he said.

Streak broken

Kicker Blair Walsh missed his first field-goal attempt from 50-plus yards Monday when his 53-yard try in the second quarter came up short.

Walsh is dealing with a hamstring injury that prevents him from doing kickoffs, but he refused to use his injury as an excuse for his miss.

He said he wouldn’t have attempted the field goal if he wasn’t confident he could make it.

“I still should have made it,” he said. “Obviously I’m not 100 percent, but it was still well within my range. I cut under it a little bit and didn’t play the wind as much as I should have.”

The miss ended Walsh’s streak of 12 consecutive makes from 50-plus yards, which set an NFL record.

“It’s definitely a cool thing to have and to start off your career that way from that distance,” he said. “But you’re meant to miss kicks at some point. It’s just going to happen.”

Walsh said he’s not sure when he will resume kickoff duties. Punter Jeff Locke has performed that role the past two weeks.

Injury update

Adrian Peterson, who still is bothered by a hamstring injury, did not practice Wednesday. Quarterback Josh Freeman (concussion), running back Matt Asiata (shoulder), tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) and wide receiver Rodney Smith (hip) also did not practice.

Linebacker Chad Greenway (wrist) was a new addition to the injury report. He had limited participation. Left tackle Matt Kalil (back), cornerback A.J. Jefferson (ankle) and Walsh also were limited.

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