Vikings’ Chris Cook fined $26,250, plans to appeal

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Chris Cook learned of his fine from the NFL on Wednesday for contact with an official in Sunday’s win against Chicago and immediately appealed the $26,250 fine.

Cook was ejected Sunday after touching an official following a touchdown by Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery, who went over the top of Cook to make the athletic play.

“I kind of touched his arm but it wasn’t really like I was trying to push him on the ground or something,” Cook said Wednesday. “It makes it seem like I was trying to push him on the ground or something like that but I just got up and said ‘that was bull’ about the play a few plays before. I can’t really do anything about the calls that they make within the game and I’ve just got to be a man about it and just move on to the next play.”

Cook had a bigger issue with a previous play where he was in line to make a possible interception — which would have been the first of his career in his fourth NFL season — and said the receiver pulled his arm, making the catch impossible.

“I know it was [offensive] pass interference but, you know, I’m not a referee so it’s not my call to make,” Cook said. “I was still frustrated about that and then they turn around and score and it made me even more mad. Like I said, I was frustrated. I let my emotions get the best of me and I know I can’t react like that, especially towards an official.”

Cook said he hadn’t heard from the league as of Wednesday, but his agent had told him the fine would be $26,250, which is standard for first-time offenders in making contact with an official.

“Yeah, my agent already appealed it so we’ll see what happens,” Cook said. “Most of the guys in here don’t think it’ll be reduced.”

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier sat down and talked with Cook about the incident and expected a heavy fine.

“We had a good conversation,” Frazier said. “He knows he’s going to get hit pretty heavy in the pocket. He just has to be able to keep his composure going forward and handle things the right way. There are going to be negative things that happen on the field and he has to handle it the right way. … He just has to go out and play. Make plays for us and help our team win.”

Cook said he guarantees the incident won’t happen again.

Cook is in the final year of his rookie contract with Minnesota and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Cook’s up-and-down career has continued this season and he said he isn’t sure what to make of his future.

In four seasons, Cook’s been limited to 31 games because of injuries and the 2011 domestic assault case, which ended his season after six games. He was later acquitted. Cook is still looking for his first NFL interception. He has shown flashes of the talent that made him a second-round pick by Minnesota in 2010 but hasn’t been able to put everything together.

“At stake these last four games? I don’t know,” Cook said. “Your guys’ guess is as good as mine. My future; that’s really the biggest thing that’s at stake for me. It’s a contract year for me. I’ve had a pretty rough year by my standards and I’ve just got to go out and ball out these last four games.”

Williams named Ed Block winner: Defensive tackle Kevin Williams was named the team’s Ed Block Courage Award winner on Wednesday, as voted on by his teammates.

Williams is the longest tenured member of the Vikings, playing his 11th, and possibly final, season with the team this year. Williams, 33, has 22 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one interception this season. Each team announces an Ed Block Courage Award winner, the award given for the “commitment to principles of sportsmanship and courage.”

“It’s a tremendous honor to me for my teammates to think that highly of me,” Williams said. “It just shows you, what you do on the team and community, it really pays off. I was a little surprised when they told me I was the recipient this year but I really appreciate it from my team.”

Williams set a franchise record for games played by a defensive tackle this season, passing Alan Page. He has 167 games played in his career, starting every game he’s played since Minnesota drafted him in the first round in 2003. He’s only missed five games total and three games in his career because of injury.

“You can’t make plays and you can’t be counted on if you can’t show up,” Williams said. “That’s one thing I’ve always thought. If you’re able to be available and make plays when you’re out there and be ready at all times and just showing up is half the battle. You’ve got to out in the work but just showing up and then playing the game, that’s the easy part.”

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