Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was remarkably simplistic and presumably honest when asked how he plans to cover Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, the only player in NFL history with back-to-back 13-catch games.
“Put Patrick Peterson on him,” Arians said Wednesday. “Hope that works.”
Asked to clarify whether that was his plan for Sunday’s game at U.S. Bank Stadium, Arians said, “Oh yeah.”
Diggs has 26 catches for 244 yards the past two weeks. Peterson, the fifth overall draft pick in 2011, has five Pro Bowls and three first-team All-Pro selections, including last season.
The Vikings essentially responded by saying they aren’t going to stop throwing the ball to their best receiver and that there are creative ways to free Diggs from Peterson’s coverage.
“Obviously, Patrick is a great player; he’s one of the best cornerbacks in the league,” quarterback Sam Bradford said. “But I think Diggs is a really good receiver as well. … I think it’s going to be a great matchup. … I think if you just go out there and say, ‘Hey, Patrick is on Diggs, we’re not going to throw his way,’ I think you’re already behind the 8-ball.”
Beavers better at tackle
The next next man up should the Vikings suffer yet another injury at offensive tackle presumably would be Willie Beavers. The rookie was drafted as a guard/tackle in the fourth round and most likely would be ahead of Rashod Hill, another rookie signed off Jacksonville’s practice squad Tuesday.
“[Beavers] is progressing in practice,” Zimmer said. “He’s doing better at tackle than he has been at guard for whatever reason, probably because he played there in college. He’s done a lot better there than at guard. He’s getting better, yes.”
Beavers has been active for three games, but has yet to play.
Hill’s rude awakening
Hill was raised in Jacksonville, went to college at Southern Miss and returned to sign with the hometown Jaguars as a rookie free agent.
“It’s cold up here was my first thoughts,” Hill said when the Vikings contacted his agent Monday. “I’m from the South. I’ve never been up north in my life.”
He could have declined the Vikings’ offer and stayed on Jacksonville’s practice squad. But the opportunity trumped the weather.
Hill has two young children, including a 16-month-old daughter.
“My wife is coming up Friday,” Hill said before cringing and adding that he hears “it’s going to snow on Friday.”
Mum’s the word on LT
Zimmer said he’s “probably” made his decision on the starting left tackle position, but wouldn’t elaborate. Although left guard Alex Boone went to the coaching staff and asked to play left tackle this week, the Vikings are expected to move T.J. Clemmings back to left tackle and use Jeremiah Sirles at right tackle.
That was the starting tackle duo in the victory over the Giants and the loss at Philadelphia, where Jake Long made his debut in a three-tackle rotation.
“Obviously, Sirles and T.J., they started a couple of games together,” Bradford said. “So we feel confident in them because they’ve been out there, they’ve done it before.”
Asked why he thinks he could help at left tackle, Boone said, “I’ve played it before. I just feel like it’d be an easier move for me than T.J. But at the end of the day, it’s up to the coaches. They’re going to put the best five out there and I trust them to do that.”
Linebacker Eric Kendricks (hip), defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (knee) and cornerbacks Captain Munnerlyn (ankle) and Terence Newman (illness) did not practice Wednesday.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (concussion) and offensive lineman Zac Kerin (hand) were limited. Everyone else had full participation, including punt returner Marcus Sherels (ankle) and receiver Laquon Treadwell, who missed Sunday’s game because of injuries.
• The Vikings are 8-0 at home against the Cardinals since losing to them in 1977 when they were located in St. Louis.
• Zimmer said it: “I know people think I’m crazy, but my goal is to win the division.”