Injuries leave Vikings thin in secondary

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Cornerback Chris Cook and safety Jamarca Sanford both missed practice for the Vikings again on Thursday with a strained hip muscle and groin, respectively, and time is running out to get either player ready for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Coach Leslie Frazier said both players could play on Sunday if they were able to do enough in practice on Friday to prove they'd be ready to go in Dallas, but he still wasn't sure if he could expect much from the two starters.

"If they were cleared tomorrow, definitely (they could play)," Frazier said. "But if Chris and Jamarca couldn't go, it really thins us out. It's a little scary when you start getting into your depth this early in the season."

The Vikings might have to make a roster move to add depth to their secondary, particularly if Sanford is unable to play, Frazier said. They have just three safeties on their roster other than Sanford -- Andrew Sendejo, Mistral Raymond and Robert Blanton -- with Harrison Smith already on injured reserve because of turf toe. The Vikings could pull safety Brandan Bishop or cornerback Robert Steeples up from their practice squad.

If Cook is unable to play, Frazier said, Xavier Rhodes, Marcus Sherels or A.J. Jefferson would start at his right cornerback spot. Josh Robinson would remain at left cornerback.

In other Vikings injury news:

  • Wide receiver Greg Jennings (knee) returned to practice as a limited participant, and Frazier said Jennings should be fine to play on Sunday. He initially hurt himself during an off-day workout on Tuesday, Frazier said, but didn't need a MRI on his knee.

  • Running back Matt Asiata (shoulder) did not participate, and the timetable for his return is unclear after his father was killed in a bus accident in Utah earlier this week. "We'll just give him the time he needs," Frazier said. "That far exceeds what we're doing here."

  • Tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) was again out of practice, and could miss his second straight game after getting injured against the New York Giants.

  • Defensive tackle Fred Evans (knee) and offensive tackle Phil Loadholt (illness) were limited participants.