Cook won't be part of Vikings plans until legal issues are resolved

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 4, 2012 - 7:02 AM

The Vikings are preparing for the 2012 season as if troubled cornerback Chris Cook won't be on the team.

The Vikings are preparing for the 2012 season as if troubled cornerback Chris Cook won't be on the team.

"There's so many unknowns with Chris," coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday. "At this point, Chris is not on my radar. As we are going forward and having to sit down and discuss our personnel and what we have to get done, until I know conclusively what's going to happen with Chris Cook, I can't really factor him into what we're trying to get accomplished."

The team's top draft pick in 2010, Cook was beginning to fulfill his promise after an injury-plagued rookie season. He played in the first six games this season, starting three and becoming the team's best defensive back. But he spent Week 7 in jail for an incident that led to charges of felony domestic abuse. He was suspended for one game and spent the final eight games on a paid leave of absence from the team.

Frazier said Cook's future depends mainly on how his legal situation turns out. Asked if he could ever trust Cook again, considering how he let the team down this season, Frazier said that's something that will have to be determined.

"It's hard to determine where things are with Chris," Frazier said. "We haven't sat down face to face. We'll learn in a few months what his future will hold. ... We have no idea what's going to happen."

Cook's trial is scheduled for March 5.

No coaching fires ... yet

Defensive coordinator Fred Pagac is still with the team. For now, at least. Frazier hasn't determined which, if any, assistants will be fired.

"I'll continue to talk with our staff and evaluate some of the things that we're doing over the rest of this week," Frazier said. "I don't have a timetable when those decisions will be made."

Rick Spielman, who was promoted to general manager on Tuesday, said he doesn't expect any changes to be made in the scouting departments.

"I think we're pretty comfortable with where we're at from a standpoint of my department with George Paton, our player personnel director," Spielman said. "His responsibilities may increase some. Scott Studwell, I think, is one of the best guys I've ever worked around as far as being a college [scouting] director and going out and evaluating talent. I'm very, very excited about the staff that I have in place here."

Sold on Ponder

Frazier gets to decide who starts at quarterback, but Spielman made it clear that he's still behind Christian Ponder.

"I know at the quarterback position there's a lot of growing pains that you have to go through," Spielman said. "But all our research and everything that we did to make that decision last year in the draft, I have the utmost confidence Christian Ponder's going to be our franchise quarterback."

Mark Wilf, owner and president, said he and fellow owner Zygi Wilf "also have full faith that Ponder's going to be a fine player."

Etc.

• Frazier said running back Toby Gerhart has an injured medial collateral ligament in his left knee. He'll be monitored for two to three weeks to see if he'll need surgery.

• Running back Adrian Peterson, who had surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee, is back in the Twin Cities. Frazier said Peterson is "going 100 miles per hour with the rehab, doing a good job, and so far so good."

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