It was a no-brainer for the Vikings to lay a suspension on Chris Cook, who on Tuesday was formally hit with a felony strangulation charge after being arrested over the weekend for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. The disturbing details of the alleged assault whipped up such a frenzy of anger in the public that the Vikings had little choice but to take decisive action. Besides, with Cook not being allowed to leave the state under the conditions of his bail, the Vikes knew they wouldn’t have him for Sunday vs. Carolina or the post-bye game at Green Bay anyway. Not to sound cynical, but the decision to suspend gets that much easier when you know you won’t have the guy regardless.
The Vikings’ statement says Cook has been “indefinitely” suspended, but under the CBA they are only allowed to suspend him for a maximum of four games, so a decision will have to be made after Week 12 assuming Cook’s legal status hasn’t changed by then. The Vikings say they’re “gathering more information” in the meantime. They could opt to move on from the whole mess entirely and cut Cook after Week 12, or they could determine that it’s okay to keep him on the team as an active player while the wheels of justice continue to grind. This would be a whole lot easier to deal with if Cook weren’t the team’s only promising young corner. Yes I know that sounds horrible considering the heinousness of his alleged crime, but the fact is, bad players are easier to dump than good ones. Any way you slice it, Zygi Wilf and Leslie Frazier have a mess on their hands, both from a team and a public relations standpoint.