For Vikings' Cook, it's easy to see the room for improvement

  • Article by: CHRIS MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 26, 2012 - 11:03 PM

Vikings cornerback Chris Cook missed the past three games vs. the Packers after they shredded him twice as a rookie.

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Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

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Chris Cook is looking for redemption Sunday.

The third-year Vikings cornerback has no good memories of playing against the Green Bay Packers, who are at the Metrodome on Sunday with a chance to block the Vikings' playoff chances.

Cook, who had surgical procedures on both of his knees early in his rookie season of 2010, was torched that year by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

"I was just watching that last night," Cook said on Wednesday, with a bit of a wince. "He definitely picked on me."

Cook missed both games between the teams last year because of legal issues, and he didn't play in the Vikings' 23-14 loss at Green Bay on Dec. 2 at Lambeau Field because of a broken arm.

As a rookie, Cook was playing in his second game on Oct. 24, 2010, coming in at nickel back on passing situations. He was quickly pulled by coach Brad Childress after Rodgers lit up the visiting Vikings for 166 passing yards ... in the first quarter.

Things got worse six weeks later when the Packers beat the Vikings 31-3 at the Metrodome. Cook gave up receptions of 47 and 39 yards to James Jones and was pulled by Childress after Jones caught a 3-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Cook was yelled at by teammate Ray Edwards on the sideline, and after the game both Cook and cornerback Asher Allen were criticized by teammates.

Childress was fired the next day.

Cook missed both meetings last season after an arrest for domestic assault on the eve of the first Packers game, which he spent in jail. He was inactive for the rest of the season.

"I've been looking forward to this game," Cook said. "My rookie year, I was coming off both my knee surgeries, and they were picking on me -- a lot. I expected that coming off two knee surgeries. But I don't have knee problems now, so we'll see how it goes this week."

Cook said Rodgers is the NFL's best quarterback.

"He's Brett Favre-like, but I feel he makes better decisions at times," Cook said. "He's crazy accurate, that's the thing that stands out. He can put balls in places the other guys can't put it in."

Cook returned to action after missing six games last week and was matched against Houston's All-Pro wideout Andre Johnson. Against the Packers, Cook doesn't expect to be singled up against any particular receiver.

"They have a great core of guys," he said. "One through five, they could all be starters on any other team."

Another Vikings cornerback, Antoine Winfield, should play Sunday despite fracturing the second metacarpal in his right hand at Houston. Winfield believes the injury occurred during a first-quarter tackle of Arian Foster, with the knee of the Texans running back landing on the top of his hand and breaking the bone.

Winfield did not practice Wednesday and was wearing a cast on his right hand, admitting that the hand was still "a little tender." However, he said he will likely play Sunday with his hand taped up and extra padding on his glove.

"This is a rough sport," he said. "There are grown men running full speed at each other. With contact, sometimes things like this happen."

Staff writer Dan Wiederer contributed to this story.

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