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Monday, September 23, 2013
Cook, Sanford, Jefferson to have MRIs

By Ben Goessling

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Defensive backs Chris Cook, Jamarca Sanford and A.J. Jefferson will all have MRIs on injuries they sustained on Sunday, coach Leslie Frazier said, and the Vikings should know more on Monday afternoon about how many of those players will be available for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cook and Sanford had a strained groin and hamstring, respectively, so MRIs for those players are likely to confirm they did not tear a muscle. Jefferson replaced Cook gave up a 47-yard touchdown to Cleveland's Josh Gordon on Sunday afternoon, and was out of the game with an ankle injury for the Vikings' next series.

As the Vikings head overseas to prepare for their game in London, their cornerback depth looks like it could be a major issue. They have already allowed more than 1,000 passing yards this season, and though Marcus Sherels acquitted himself nicely on Sunday, the Vikings only had three healthy cornerbacks by the end of the game. They left rookie Xavier Rhodes out of their base defense, wanting to keep him at the left cornerback spot where he'd played in the nickel rather than moving him to the right side, but Frazier said that could change depending on whether Cook or Jefferson is available for Sunday's game.

"We'd have to get him a little work there. He's worked exclusively on the left side," Frazier said. "We have to be careful about that with a young guy, not that we couldn't do that, not that we may not do that. We'll explore all avenues depending on what happens with Chris [Cook] from a health standpoint. But we'll re-evaluate it after, at some point during the day."

Rhodes said he played both the left and right cornerback spots at Florida State and didn't seem apprehensive about the possibility of moving over there. Even if the Vikings tried that, though, they'd need to add depth at the position if Cook or Jefferson has to sit out. They have rookie Robert Steeples on their practice squad, but they typically carry five active cornerbacks into a game, and might need to look for outside help if any of the injuries are severe.