EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings seem hopeful they'll get Chris Cook and Jamarca Sanford back from injury in time for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, but those are the only changes coach Leslie Frazier expects in his secondary this week.
Cornerback Josh Robinson, who has become a favorite target for both fans and opposing quarterbacks in the first four games of the season, will continue to start in the Vikings' base defense, Frazier said. Robinson has been targeted a league-high 38 times, according to Pro Football Focus, and the 35 receptions he's allowed are also the most in the league.
He's probably struggled as much as the slot corner in the Vikings' nickel package as he has in the base defense, but the Vikings would have an easier time making a change in their base defense. They could move Xavier Rhodes to the same left cornerback spot in the base that he plays in the nickel. With Robinson in the slot, though, the Vikings' options are somewhat limited.
Other than Cook and Rhodes, the Vikings only have two other corners on the roster (A.J. Jefferson and Marcus Sherels). Sherels did well with Cook out of the lineup, but Jefferson has struggled this season and was nursing an ankle injury earlier. The Vikings have had contact with Antoine Winfield about coming out of retirement, but they might not have the salary cap room to make a move now that they've signed Brian Robison to a contract extension; they started Wednesday with just over $692,000 of cap space, though a person with direct knowledge of the situation said they cleared some cap space with the way they structured Robison's deal.
So for now, the Vikings appear set with Robinson, hoping the second-year corner shows some improvement soon.