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Injury update: Cook, Sanford return, secondary nearing full strength

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Nearly three weeks have passed since injuries wrecked an already shaky Vikings secondary. Now, the team is getting back to full strength.

“Injury-wise I think we’re in pretty good shape. I think everybody will be practicing [Wednesday], which is good,” head coach Leslie Frazier said.

That means the return of cornerback Chris Cook (groin), safety Jamarca Sanford (hamstring), which should help bolster the secondary.

The Vikings pass defense is tied for 30th in the league in yards allowed per game. Only Denver and Dallas have allowed more passing yards on a per-game basis than Minnesota’s 326, and that includes the offensive assault in the recent Cowboys-Broncos matchup.

Josh Robinson struggled at corner and was over-exposed in the interim. Through four weeks, he was the most targeted corner in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus, and was frequently burned in coverage. Frazier said the team will stick with him, and will not look to move him off his spot at left corner and occasional slot duty.

The other injury many have their eye on is quarterback Christian Ponder’s rib. Ponder said Monday that his rib is feeling better, but Frazier said the team will wait until later in the week to determine who will start Sunday, Ponder or Matt Cassel.

“It felt good,” Ponder said Monday after practicing. “Very little pain, if any. Felt like I threw the ball pretty well so it was a good start back. We threw over the bye week and things kept getting better and better.”

Tight end/fullback Rhett Ellison (hyperextended knee) also returned to practice. He suffered the injury against the Chicago Bears.

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for His previous stops include and the Minnesota Daily.

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