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Vikings Notes: Cuts, Cook, & Corners

September 1, 2010

Following the guidelines set forth by the National Football League, the Minnesota Vikings made the necessary moves to trim their active roster to 75 players by August 31. The team’s official website reports that the Vikings cut 2 players, moved 1 to the waived/injured list and placed another on the reserve/PUP list.

Wide receiver Marko Mitchell and offensive tackle Bill Noethlich were released by the team, and linebacker J Leman was placed on the waived/injured list. And as expected, Sidney Rice was officially placed on the reserve PUP list.

Due to the PUP designation, Sidney Rice will not be eligible to play or practice with the team until after week 6 of the season. Following week 6, the team has 3 weeks to decide whether or not to activate Rice to the 53-man roster. When/if they activate him, they will need to cut another player. If they decide not to elevate Rice to the active roster, the other option would be to place him on season-ending injured-reserve. Even though Rice is expected to be on crutches for 8 weeks, I highly doubt the Vikings would end his season. Provided Rice does not suffer any sort of setback with his hip during the rehab process, he should rejoin his teammates on the practice field around mid-season.

Another Viking player dealing with injury is rookie cornerback Chris Cook. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Cook suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee Saturday in the Vikings’ preseason victory over the Seattle Seahawks. The second-round draft choice underwent arthroscopic surgery and is expected to miss at least two weeks. The surgery rules him out of the season opener against the New Orleans Saints.

The Vikings will also be without cornerback Cedric Griffin who tore his ACL in the NFC Championship Game last season. However, Judd Zulgad reports that Griffin was working out after practice yesterday and has a chance to start the season on the active roster. Even if Griffin begins the year on the active roster, don’t expect him to play against the Saints. Placing him on the 53-man roster would simply mean the Vikings believe he can return to the field and contribute earlier than week 6.

Cook and Griffin’s injuries leave the Vikings thin at defensive back. After trading away Benny Sapp for Greg Camarillo, the Purple find themselves down to 3 healthy and capable corners: Antione Winfield, Lito Sheppard, and Asher Allen. Look for the Vikings to sign or trade for another cornerback before Thursday, September 9 when they face the potent passing attack of Drew Bress and the Saints.

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