- Associated Press - Saturday, October 22, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook was arrested early Saturday on domestic battery charges, and the team said Cook, who has started the past three games, will not play this weekend against the Green Bay Packers.

Cook, 24, was arrested without incident after someone called 911 around 2 a.m. to report hearing people across the street yelling and screaming, Eden Prairie police spokeswoman Katie Beal said.

The second-year pro was booked on two charges, including one count of domestic assault, and was being held without bail Saturday at Hennepin County jail, according to online records. Prosecutors have 48 hours in which to charge Cook, who has a court hearing scheduled for Monday morning.

Bob Hagan, the Vikings‘ spokesman, said Cook has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against unbeaten Green Bay. Earlier, the team issued a statement saying it didn’t plan to comment about the arrest until it could learn more about what happened.

“We take this matter very seriously and are still gathering all the details of the incident,” the Vikings said.

Earlier this year, Cook was accused of pulling a gun on a neighbor in his home state of Virginia. A judge found him not guilty of a misdemeanor count of brandishing a firearm, saying there was insufficient evidence to convict him.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier had a talk with Cook in the offseason to reiterate the importance of staying out of trouble off the field, and the second-year player emerged as perhaps the most reliable cornerback on the field during the team’s 1-5 start. At 6-foot-2, he has the size to match up with taller receivers and the speed to keep up with smaller ones.

The loss of Cook for Sunday’s game against the pass-heavy Packers is a huge blow to the Vikings‘ already depleted secondary. Cornerback Antoine Winfield is listed as doubtful with a neck injury and starting safety Jamarca Sanford likely is out with a concussion.

Cook has started in Winfield’s place over the last three games opposite Cedric Griffin, who has yet to return to his old form while coming off his second torn ACL in the last two years.

Without Cook, Asher Allen will likely step into the starting role with Marcus Sherels moving into the nickelback spot, giving the Vikings two of their top three cornerbacks under 5-foot-10. Rookie Brandon Burton also could be activated to provide some depth against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who run a wide-open passing attack that floods the secondary with receivers.

Even before the incident with Cook, Frazier said his short-handed secondary would be challenged against their undefeated division rivals.

“They do a lot of four- and five-wideout sets; more so than most teams that you play,” Frazier said on Friday. “You would like to have all hands on deck, but the guys that are going to play are going to be ready to go and we are going to need them to step up and play big for us.”

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