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Vikings CB Cook returns to active roster after suspension

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings have reinstated cornerback Chris Cook to the active roster, ending his without-pay suspension after two weeks. But Cook won't be playing, practicing or even at the team's facility while he deals with a felony charge of domestic assault.

"We really think it's best for him to focus on the legal matters and not be a part of what we're doing right now," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Monday after the decision was announced.

The Vikings agreed on the course of action with Cook and his agent, Hadley Engelhard, so the 24-year-old cornerback can focus on his off-the-field situation.

"We want him to put his energy and efforts into that case," Frazier said, sounding as if Cook already has played his last snap of the 2011 season. "It's hard to say that we're going to see him again considering what he's facing, but we'll see what happens."

Cook has a Nov. 22 court hearing regarding the allegation he strangled his girlfriend after becoming angry that she spoke with a former boyfriend. Frazier, however, stopped short of ruling Cook out of the team's future plans.

"It's so tough to say today as we stand here in November, considering the situation and not knowing how it's going to play out," the coach said. "It's hard to look into the future."

For the present, the Vikings will play one short on their 53-man roster -- without their best cover man. Veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield is the stalwart of the secondary, but he primarily plays against inside receivers and his strength is stopping the run.

Cook could face discipline from the NFL under the league's personal-conduct policy. Spokesman Greg Aiello said Cook's situation remains "under review."

Engelhard hasn't returned messages seeking comment since his client's arrest more than two weeks ago.

The Vikings could have kept Cook on the reserve/suspended list for two more weeks, but Frazier indicated he didn't want the team to deal with that distraction. He said he's simply hoping for the best for Cook, the Vikings' second-round draft pick out of Virginia last year.

"Hopefully the allegations aren't true. Hopefully he gets things turned around," Frazier said.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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