COMMENTARY | The reeling Minnesota Vikings got a piece of good news on September 24, as cornerback Chris Cook told USA Today's Tom Pelissero that he plans to play Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The return of Cook is something that the Vikings needed as they try to avoid the team's second 0-4 start in the past three seasons. He departed the September 22 game against the Cleveland Browns after suffering a groin injury and that allowed Josh Gordon to tear them apart in a 31-27 loss.
The injury has been a recurring theme of Cook's career as he hasn't been able to stay on the field. While there was an issue with an ex-girlfriend in 2011, he also hasn't been completely healthy since the Vikings took him in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Without Cook, the Browns were able to exploit backup corners A.J. Jefferson and Marcus Sherels as Gordon posted ten catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. Losing him for a second week to this injury would have been catastrophic as the secondary has to match up with Antonio Brown, who is coming off his best game of the season in a blowout loss to the Chicago Bears.
There are plenty of things that have gone wrong for the Vikings in the first three weeks of the season, but a prolonged stint on the sidelines for Cook would have made things much worse. He will need to stay healthy for this week and beyond if the team wants to climb out of their deep hole.
Chris Schad is a lifelong Vikings follower that has seen triumph and heartbreak for the franchise over 27 seasons. His work has also been published on Bleacher Report and Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.
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