Good news on the injury front for the Beloved Purple today, as three players that missed the season opener with various maladies returned to practice this afternoon in preparation for the Sunday afternoon match-up with the Miami Dolphins.
Cornerback Chris Cook, defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy, and running back Toby Gerhart were working out with the team this afternoon in Minneapolis after all three were inactive this past Thursday. Cook tore his meniscus in the third pre-season game of the year against Seattle, and has been out of practice ever since. Kennedy hurt his knee in the second pre-season game against the 49ers, and hasn't practiced since then, either. Gerhart was held out of the season opener, as well as the final pre-season game, for reasons that nobody is quite sure of.
The return of Cook, in particular, could be very big for the Vikings. In the pre-season, Cook was slated to be the starter opposite Antoine Winfield at cornerback for Minnesota, and as a result of his injury, the team went with only three healthy corners in the season opener and rotated safety Husain Abdullah down to corner against multiple-receiver sets. If Cook was back, even if he started in the nickel role, he would help the CB depth of the Vikings against a Dolphin team that acquired Brandon Marshall during the off-season, and has a couple of underrated guys behind him in Davone Bess and Brian Hartline. And I haven't even included the possibility that CB Cedric Griffin could be back as well, depending on how confident the team feels about him.
The Dolphins were victorious in their season opener, winning on the road in Buffalo by a score of 15-10. I was flipping back and forth between that game and Lions/Bears. . .yeah, I know, I'm a sucker for punishment. . .and the Dolphins/Bills game was an ugly one, with both teams struggling on offense at points throughout the game. Still, the Dolphins are not without their fair share of weapons, and you know that there's going to be much Wildcattery involved with their offense, so anybody the Vikings can get back on that side of the ball to help them out this Sunday will be big.