"We have met with Chris and spoken with his agent and have agreed that currently Chris should focus on his off-the-field matters," the Vikings said in a statement issued Monday.
The Vikings brought Cook off the suspended list and will resume paying him, but for now they are allowing him to go through the legal process.
Cook was arrested Oct. 22 and charged three days later with felony domestic assault by strangulation. The Vikings suspended him without pay on the same day he was charged, but, according to terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Cook cannot be suspended without pay for more than four games. He has missed the last two games, against Carolina and Green Bay, and hasn't practiced since Oct. 21.
Felony domestic assault by strangulation carries a penalty of up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
"After speaking with his agent, along with Chris, these are the steps that we thought were necessary for him to really be able to focus on what he has to focus on off the field," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "We'll see how it plays out and what happens for him going forward."
"... We think it's really best for him to focus on the legal matters and not be a part of what we're doing right now. That's what he believes as well."
Asked last week if there is a chance Cook could be released, Frazier said team officials had "a lot of things to talk about as we go forward." On Monday, however, they decided to keep him on the roster, although he won't practice with the team.
Asked if he thought Cook would play again this season, Frazier said it was "hard to say that we're going to see him again, considering what he's facing, but we'll see what happens." He also declined to speculate on Cook's status with the Vikings beyond 2011. Frazier called Cook's case "a very serious matter" that the organization was concerned about.
According to the police report, Cook tried to strangle his girlfriend, leaving her with a bloody nose and lip. According to the complaint, Cook became upset when he found out his girlfriend of 10 months had spoken to an ex-boyfriend.
He was released from jail on $40,000 bail and tweeted afterwards that there are two sides to every story.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said during a press conference that officers found Cook's girlfriend with marks on her neck and hemorrhaging in her eye. State guidelines call for a sentence of a year and a day, Freeman said.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.