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Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Another hit to Minnesota's secondary

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

More than a few of you sent nasty notes last week after we discussed the other side of the Minnesota Vikings' trade for receiver Greg Camarillo. Some of you thought I was searching too hard for a negative angle when I pointed out that defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier seemed concerned about his thinner depth at cornerback following the departure of veteran Benny Sapp.

Now, perhaps you understand where Frazier (and I) were coming from. The Vikings have now lost their second cornerback in the past six days. According to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune, rookie Chris Cook -- the presumptive starter at right cornerback -- has suffered a torn meniscus and will miss at least two weeks of action and probably more. The team has not confirmed the injury, but Zulgad reports Cook has already had knee surgery.

Cook had been impressive during the preseason and started last Saturday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. The injury occurred at an unspecified point in that game.

Without Cook, the Vikings really don't have a cornerback who I would consider starting material. Barring another move, they will have no choice but to turn to veteran Lito Sheppard or second-year player Asher Allen as the starter. The other is likely to serve as the nickel back. Allen was the nickel back against the Seahawks, while Sheppard was playing with third-teamers in the fourth quarter of the game.

The job they are competing for was originally vacated by Cedric Griffin, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament eight months ago in the NFC Championship Game. He remains on the physically unable to perform list and has not started practicing. Stay tuned.