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Vikings Inactives: Vikings to Shuffle Defense vs. Cardinals

When the Arizona Cardinals and their top-ranked offense take the field tonight, they won’t have to worry about Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo at safety. With the Minnesota Vikings’ starters sidelined, Anthony Harris and veteran cornerback Terence Newman will take their place in the secondary. It’s not the most ideal situation against a group of wide receivers that includes Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John Brown, but injuries necessitate the change.

In place of Newman, rookie cornerback Trae Waynes will make the start opposite Xavier Rhodes. He’ll be tested by Carson Palmer and must┬áhave a solid night if the Vikings are to have any chance in Arizona. The rest of the Vikings’ inactives include:

Young players will need to step up at every level of the defense, including a handful of rookies and second-year players. Edmond Robinson, Minnesota’s seventh-round draft pick out of Newberry, will start in Anthony Barr’s place. Depending on Mike Zimmer’s strategy, he’ll either play an important role blitzing, or, will be asked to cover the intermediate area of the field. Palmer has been deadly accurate between the numbers this season, putting even more pressure on a relatively inexperienced linebacker corps.

Like last week, Tom Johnson and Sharrif Floyd will start in the middle of the defensive line. According to the team’s official website, Johnson will replace Joseph at nose tackle and Floyd will play his normal defensive tackle position. Arizona is missing its top running back, but rookie David Johnson is a threat running the football, catching out of the backfield, and returning kickoffs. The Vikings had three days to correct their mistakes against Seattle, which may not be enough against Arizona’s high-octane offense.

The Cardinals will be without a few key names as well, including cornerback Jerraud Powers, running back Andre Ellington, and linebacker Shaq Riddick:

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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  1. Don’t know if all the shuffling is good, but what can you do. I do like putting Newman at safety. Robinson has some speed, is very raw.
    Let’s see what happens, game on! Go Vikes!

  2. All Teddy had to do was to not take a sack or turn it over… He did both. Kudos to Vikes for playing so well on D without so many key players. Teddy messed up, I have supported him since day one. Or perhaps a roll out would have been the better call to protect him from the rush and a sack. I worry that Teddy is not the QB of the future. He had to avoid two things to keep the chance of a FG and OT alive. He failed. Perhaps MN can draft Carson Wentz out of NDSU, there is a prototypical QB. Teddy just is not cutting it.

    1. No luv, I disagree. Teddy did mess up, but he should’ve had time to make that throw. On top of that, why wasn’t there some other call there? With 13 seconds…3rd down and no TO’s at the 32. So they went with a developing route and knowing your O-line isn’t that good? If your going for the TD, then line up 3 guys and chuck it. But see, you’re stuck…. 32 yards is a little too close for that. So, why not run the ball or go for the short pass for a 3 yard gain. Line up and spike it! C’mon man!
      Teddy is gonna be a player, I know we’ve been burned before on waiting on some QB’s to develop. But….let me tell you. Mark my word, He’s gonna win some games with us. Ask Zimmer…no, tell Coach Zimmer that Teddy is a bust. Bet he gets up and walks away, right after he gives you good stare.

      1. CC they couldn’t run it on 3rd down and then spike it,that would have turned the ball over on downs.
        The Vikings failed at situational awareness,Freeney hardly saw the field,so when he came in to the game he’s there for one reason.Double team him if you have to,but make sure he doesn’t get near Teddy.
        The play call should have been something quick to the sideline,or just kick the FG on 3rd down.

        1. I agree with you that they should have lined up for the field goal. 13 seconds, no time outs. Would have been about 48 or 49 yards. Well within Walsh’s range, he had already nailed two boomers on the night. No timeouts.. risky. Hind sight is always perfect I realize, but I was watching the game with friends and lamenting their decision before the snap. A couple of my pals agreed with me, a couple thought they should try to get a little closer.
          CC, you make good points in your posts, I rarely disagree with what you write. But I think that we might have to agree to disagree about Teddy. He has shown flashes, last year I was thinking that they finally have a young and talented QB that will be around for a while, but I (and likely you also) thought Ponder may be the one also a few years back. One good year does not a good quarterback make. I have been wait and see since they drafted Teddy, and of course I want him to succeed. But think about the number of times that Wallace has actually gotten behind the opponent’s secondary, sure TD’s, and he has overthrown him every time. Ok, only 3 or 4 times this season that I can recall, but that is still 0-fer and 3 or 4 sure td’s that never were. I admire TB for his patience and his calm demeanor in the pocket. He has also came up with a few game winning drives this year. Something that has been the Vike’s opponents Modus Operandi the past few years, nice to see the Vikings be the team to win in the last two minutes rather than the team getting beat in the last two. By the latter I hope that you see that I do think that there is still hope. However, Wentz is a prototypical QB, tall, pocket passer, he can get himself out of trouble with his legs. Kind of a Peyton/Wilson hybrid. Of course I may be biased to the first NFL worthy QB to come out of my alma mater in my lifetime. Another thing I wish to post, if they would go that route. Wentz is projected to be a late 1st to early 2nd pick and I think that the o line is of greater concern right now. I would not be disappointed if the Vikes went o line 3 or their first 4 picks. I was thinking safety if there was one of quality in round 3 or 4. But Robinson seemed to play well in his first start after being on the practice squad all year. I just read his grade and he did not just seem to play well, he graded out second best for Vikes defenders for the game. I think that is fairly impressive.

  3. To hell with that…..I can’t say it on here…………………………..
    BS, Cards are not that good. We freakin’ gave that game away with the stupid attempt at a trick play….BS. And the end of the half mismanagement of time, what….excuse me. WTF was that mess? Really? Then we get a CLEAR as damn day face mask on Teddy. He even Looked at the ref, on the run and showed him! NO CALL! Anyone else see the hold on Robison on their 1st TD? It was fairly obvious. NFL can’t pay full time refs. Whatever.

  4. Bridgewater needs to throw that out of bounds if the 1st read wasn’t there. That being said I’m sticking with that it should’ve been another call there. Klail got beat, but Teddy has to get the ball out….anywhere. Throw it in the stands! Coaches should have helped him out there, Walsh was kicking well.

  5. On NFLN they said there were no routes going to the endzone so I don’t know what the plan was on that play. Norv needs to stop running stupid trick plays from our own 40 yard line. Makes zero sense to run trick plays from that spot. Its either a chunk play or a loss and if your within a few yards of kicking a field goal why risk it. Three lost fumbles on offense combined with blowing at least that many chances to create turnovers on defense did them in.