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Friday, November 1, 2013
Vikings: Five out, Jennings probable

By Ben Goessling

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- None of the five players who missed most of the Vikings' practice time this week -- cornerback Chris Cook, safety Jamarca Sanford, tight end Rhett Ellison, running back Matt Asiata and defensive tackle Fred Evans -- will suit up for the Vikings on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. All five are out for the game, but wide receiver Greg Jennings, who missed some time early this week with a knee injury, is probable.

Jennings
Of the five players who will miss the game, the absences of Cook (who has a strained hip muscle) and Sanford (who is out with a groin injury) probably hurt the most. The Vikings have just one member of their starting secondary -- cornerback Josh Robinson -- healthy for Sunday's game against one of the league's best passing attacks, and they will either use A.J. Jefferson, Marcus Sherels or Xavier Rhodes at right cornerback opposite Robinson. Shaun Prater, who signed with the team this month, will also be active, Frazier said.

The Vikings might try to survive with three safeties, with Mistral Raymond and Andrew Sendejo starting and Robert Blanton backing them up, Frazier said, but they could activate Brandan Bishop from the practice squad, as well.

Cook's absence has to be particularly frustrating for the Vikings; the fourth-year corner has never played more than 10 games in a season, and will miss his second game in five weeks on Sunday. In a contract year, Cook has struggled to answer what might be the biggest question about him: his durability.

He did some running with trainer Eric Sugarman on Friday and said he's close to being able to play, but with a short week coming up, the Vikings will have to see if they can get him healthy for Thursday's game against the Washington Redskins.

"Sixteen (games) went to 15 and now I guess it has to go to 14. I can only control what I can control," Cook said. "As a football player, we try to take care of our bodies as best we can. Football is a fast game and a very violent game. Injuries happen, so you have to roll with the punches sometimes."