EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. As the Minnesota Vikings' season slipped away last year, cornerback Chris Cook was on the outskirts, listed on the team's roster but nowhere to be seen.
Following a domestic abuse-strangulation charge in October, he was suspended by the Vikings then curiously reinstated but told to stay away from the team's facilities while his legal issues were pending. He ended up playing six games, starting three times. In two seasons since being Minnesota's first pick of the 2010 draft (34th overall), he has played only 12 games.
After he was acquitted of all the charges in March, Cook was free to re-join the team, and the Vikings gave him his second chance at an NFL career, choosing to stick by the embattled cornerback instead of releasing him.
Freshly shorn, with his long dreadlocks exchanged for a close shave, Cook, 25, returned last week to Winter Park, ready to prove himself to his coaches and teammates.
"I feel like I have to earn their trust again," Cook said Wedn...