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Good & Bad News for Vikings vs. Cardinals

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — An item of good news for the Vikings is that Cardinals QB Carson Palmer isn't likely to be a running threat.

The bad news, however, is Palmer ranks second in the NFL with a passer rating of 106.3.

The 12-year pro has completed 267 of 418 passes (63.9 percent) for 3,693 yards with 29 touchdowns (also second-best in the NFL) against nine interceptions. Palmer has been credited with 21 rushing yards on 22 attempts.

The Vikings struggled on Sunday to contain Russell Wilson, who rushed nine times for 51 yards by design or improvisation. Minnesota (8-4) also has losses this season against San Francisco (Colin Kaepernick) and Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers) in which mobility by quarterbacks gave the Vikings trouble.

"He's making a lot of good plays for them. He's probably one of the elite quarterbacks that nobody talks about," Brian Robison said. "People talk about him but don't put him up there with the [Tom] Bradys, the [Peyton and Eli] Mannings, [Aaron] Rodgers and those types of guys, but you can see he makes their team successful because he makes good decisions with the ball and he's also got the arm strength to get the ball down the field to those big-play receivers."

Palmer has only been sacked 19 times this season.

Robison had both of Minnesota's sacks and has 3.0 on the year. He has 6.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in five previous games against the Cardinals. He said the rush plan for the Vikings can change without having to focus so much on preventing escapes, but Minnesota must first do better against the run.

"At the end of the day, that's what we have to do: stop the run game and that allows us to pin our ears back and go after the guy," Robison said. "We don't have to worry about necessarily containing the guy or anything like that."

The Vikings allowed 173 yards on 36 carries against Seattle. Arizona is blending a combination of backs while leading rusher Chris Johnson (196 attempts for 814 yards) is on injured reserve — designated to return. Andre Ellington has 36 carries for 247 yards, and David Johnson is next with 57 for 238.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was Cincinnati's defensive coordinator for three of Palmer's seven seasons with the Bengals.

"The system is different, but Carson is pretty good," Zimmer said. "I've watched him make some unbelievable throws. He's probably playing as good as I've ever seen him play."

Kyle Rudolph won't directly face Palmer, but he is well-aware of the threat. Rudolph grew up in Cincinnati and was in junior high school in 2003 when the Bengals selected him with the first overall pick.

"It was the first time the Bengals were relevant during my childhood," Rudoph said. "He kind of rebuilt that franchise, and I think he deserves a lot of credit for where they're at now."

Fan of Fitzgerald too: Rudolph also has great respect for Cardinals receiver and Minneapolis native Larry Fitzgerald, who caught the 1,000th pass of his career Sunday in St. Louis.

"I don't think there's a more professional guy in our game," Rudolph said. "All that Larry has done for me in my career, kind of taking me under his wing and helping me, I'm happy he got to a thousand catches."

More carries?: Asked if the Vikings need to make sure that Adrian Peterson has more carries than Sunday when he finished with eight attempts and 18 yards, Zimmer said Peterson "probably should" get more.

The Vikings allowed two touchdowns in the final 2:04 of the first half to create a 21-point deficit that significantly reduced the amount of runs they could use.

Injury reports:For the Vikings: Linval Joseph (foot), Andrew Sendejo (knee), Harrison Smith (knee/hamstring), Antone Exum, Jr. (rib/shoulder), Robert Blanton (knee), Anthony Barr (groin/hand) and Brandon Watts (rib) did not participate. Scott Crichton (ankle) was limited.

For the Cardinals: RB Andre Ellington (toe), TE Jermaine Gresham (knee), S Tony Jefferson (hamstring), CB Jerraud Powers (calf) and DT Frostee Rucker (ankle) did not participate. Fitzgerald (ankle), WR John Brown (hamstring), WR Michael Floyd (hamstring), S Rashad Johnson (ankle), LS Mike Leach (knee), DT Cory Redding (ankle) and RB Stepfan Taylor (shoulder) were limited.

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