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Adrian Peterson, Vikings Want Back on 'Right Track'


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —** Adrian Peterson has put himself through his normal recovery regimen this week despite some abnormalities.

The first was a lighter workload than normal Sunday against Seattle when he rushed eight times for 18 yards and caught four passes for six yards; the second is the quick turnaround to prepare for Thursday's game at Arizona. The Vikings (8-4) face the Cardinals (10-2) at 7:25 p.m. (CT) on NFL Network.

Much reverb was made when Peterson said after the game that he wanted more carries.

"That's the mindset of a player that wants to be great," Peterson said Tuesday. "You want to be able, when your number is called, to make plays. Of course I would be frustrated with getting the ball for eight carries, but the game got away from us. It is what it is. We're focused on Arizona and trying to get this thing back on the right track."

Much less focus was given to him saying he wish he had maximized the opportunities he did get.

"I remember saying this on Sunday, too: we had two run plays, a kick play that's designed to go outside, I cut it back in. I look at that play, I could have taken it to the house and changed the outcome of the game," Peterson said. "We had another outside zone play that I shortened when I should have wrapped it around. I would rather people point that out."

Successful runs lead to more attempts, sustained drives and increased time of possession, which are helpful to teams, particularly in road games.

Vikings wins have included strong rushing efforts that help Peterson, who leads the league with 1,182 yards, and losses have included 10 carries for 31 yards at San Francisco, 16 for 81 at Denver, 13 for 45 against Green Bay and Sunday.

Teddy traded jerseys, not jabs:Teddy Bridgewater was aware of comments Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin made after the game in which Irvin said the second-year QB was "scared" of a defense that sacked him four times and was credited with seven quarterback hits by the press box.

Bridgewater said he and Irvin talked before the game about fellow friend, Rams receiver Stedman Bailey, and traded jerseys after the game. Bridgewater took the high road Tuesday.

"Bruce and I are close, we're very close. … I think Bruce was just excited they got the up on us," Bridgewater said. "I was able to defeat Bruce as a freshman in college, so there's a little history behind that. Those guys were talking all game and those guys are a pretty confident group. To hear that is just – that's typical Bruce.

Bridgewater, however, later said, "I'm going to make sure I remember those words."

One to have back: Bridgewater completed 17 of 28 passes under frequent pressure, but lamented an interception before halftime that Earl Thomas returned to set up Seattle's third touchdown.

"The ball just got away from me and it happens, it happens to everyone," Bridgewater said. "Try to avoid situations like those, especially right before the half, turn the ball over, but it's something that I can learn from."

Biting humor: Zimmer went from the stadium to Winter Park Sunday. He did allow himself to leave between Monday and Tuesday a.m. but his efforts to grab a bite were less fulfilled than he intended.

"I went to McDonalds on the way home because I was hungry and ordered two cheeseburgers and I only got one," Zimmer said before laughing, "That's the kind of week it's been."

Asked if he played a "do you know who I am" card, Zimmer had another laugh, "They probably did. That's why I got one."

In-depth review:Cardinals QB Carson Palmer ranks second in the NFL with a passer rating of 106.3. He's thrown for 3,693 yards and 29 touchdowns against nine interceptions. The Vikings are aware of the threat.

"Carson Palmer is a great quarterback. He's having a great year," Xavier Rhodes said. "I was told he's being talked about as the league MVP this year, so that should explain a lot about him and the way he's been making great throws and throwing to open receivers. We've got to cover those guys and put pressure on Carson Palmer to the point where he can second guess those throws and make him make bad throws."

Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians said during a conference call with Twin Cities reporters that Palmer's review of film while recovering from injuries has helped considerably this season.

"I think during his time when he was rehabbing he also did a lot of mental preparation on our offense and going back and watching every throw he had made for a year and a half and progressed nicely mentally when he came back," Arians said. "It was like he never missed a beat because he had worked so hard, not just on his body, rehabbing the knee and shoulder, but also spent a lot of time on film."

Mutual respect: The Vikings respect the threat posed by Palmer's top target, receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who spent part of his youth as a ball boy for the team he'll face Thursday.

Arians has a similar level of respect for Vikings receiver Mike Wallace, whom he coached from 2009-11 with the Steelers.

"Dynamic player, practiced hard, gave everything he had, one of my favorite guys," Arians said. "He made you hold your breath every time the ball was in the air."

Wallace led the Vikings with 43 yards on two catches, including a season-long 25-yard gain on a crossing route. He has 30 catches for 361 yards and a touchdown in his first season in Minnesota.

Injury reports: For the Vikings: Linval Joseph (foot), Harrison Smith (knee/hamstring), Robert Blanton (knee), Anthony Barr (groin/hand) and Brandon Watts (rib) did not participate. Andrew Sendejo (knee) and Scott Crichton (ankle) were limited. Antone Exum, Jr. (rib/shoulder) was placed on injured reserve as part of several roster moves the Vikings made Tuesday.

For the Cardinals: RB Andre Ellington (toe), TE Jermaine Gresham (knee), CB Jerraud Powers (calf) and DT Frostee Rucker (ankle) did not participate for a second straight day. Fitzgerald (ankle), S Tony Jefferson (hamstring), WR John Brown (hamstring), WR Michael Floyd (hamstring), S Rashad Johnson (ankle), DT Cory Redding (ankle) and RB Stepfan Taylor (shoulder) were limited. LS Mike Leach (knee) fully participated. T/G Earl Watford (hand) was added to the report Tuesday as a limited participant.

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