EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook said he is appealing the fine he was assessed for making contact with an official during Sunday's win over the Chicago Bears, adding he was mostly upset about what happened two plays before Alshon Jeffery beat him for a 46-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Cook said he was fined "something like $26,000." According to NFL rules, the minimum fine for the first time a player contacts an official is $26,250.
On that play, Cook appeared to have a shot at his first career interception when Jeffery grabbed his right arm and moved inside of him to knock the ball away. There was no call for offensive pass interference, which Cook was still seething about two plays later, when Jeffery beat him for a touchdown on the same route down the sideline.
He rose to his feet with his palms in the air, and made contact with side judge Laird Hayes. Cook was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, and was ejected from the game.
"I kind of touched his arm but it wasn’t really like I was trying to push him on the ground or something," Cook said Wednesday. "It makes it seem like I was trying to push him on the ground or something like that but I just got up and said ‘that was bull’ about the play a few plays before. I can’t really do anything about the calls that they make within the game and I’ve just got to be a man about it and just move onto the next play."
Cook came into the season expecting big things after missing six games last season with a broken arm. Coach Leslie Frazier cited him as a player who could become the leader of a young secondary, and Cook seemed to embrace the added responsibility. But injuries -- a frequent problem for Cook -- have kept him out of three games, and he's been the culprit on half a dozen touchdown passes, including four against the Bears.
He'll be a free agent next spring, and his chances at earning a significant contract, from the Vikings or another team, appear to be in some jeopardy.
Asked what's at stake for him in the final four games of the season, the fourth-year corner said, "My future. That’s really the biggest thing that’s at stake for me. It’s a contract year for me. I’ve had a pretty rough year by my standards and I’ve just got to go out and ball out these last four games."