Patrick Peterson will be in State Farm Stadium on Sunday for his 11th straight Cardinals home opener. He will be on the visitors sideline for the first time, after Arizona parted with the eight-time Pro Bowler in a manner that stung Peterson this offseason.
He spared few words on his "All Things Covered" podcast when talking about his departure from Arizona this summer, saying he "lost all respect" for Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, who (according to Peterson) said he wanted to bring the veteran back before going silent on him during free agency.
Now that he's headed back to Arizona to face his former team, he said he's put whatever feelings he has about his Cardinals departure off to the side.
"I said what I said a couple months back," Peterson said Thursday. "Now my focus is truly on going out here and trying to get a W and play my best football."
Peterson spent his final year in Arizona practicing against DeAndre Hopkins, and could see plenty of the three-time All-Pro on Sunday.
"D-Hop is one of those receivers that invites the physicality of the DB," Peterson said. "That's kind of how I play my game as well. I want to be physical with the receivers and getting in their head and thinking about me a little bit more. But D-Hop is different. He invites that. So it's a little bit of a chess match whenever I have my opportunities to go up against him. It should be a fun game."
Peterson said he's not sure what type of a reception to expect from Cardinals fans, or if the team will recognize him in some way on Sunday.
"It may be easier said than done, but I'm really treating this like another game on the schedule. I'm not expecting anything, but if it comes, I would definitely welcome it," he said. "I'm a cruising altitude type guy. I never want to get too high, never want to get too low. It's a long season and anything can happen at any given time throughout the game or the season for that matter. So every game is just another game on the schedule that I'm looking to prepare for and give my all to make plays for this defense."
Kendricks, Griffen miss practice
After Eric Kendricks and Everson Griffen practiced in full on Wednesday, both players showed up on the Vikings' injury report for the first time this season on Thursday, with injuries that caused them to miss all of practice.
Kendricks was listed with a calf injury, while Griffen sustained a concussion, according to the Vikings' Thursday injury report. The defensive end would have to clear the NFL's concussion protocol to play Sunday in his home state, where he also missed the Vikings' 2015 game with an injury.
Kendricks was made available to reporters before practice on Thursday morning but wasn't on the field about 90 minutes later. The linebacker's status could be determined by how much he's able to do in the Vikings' final practice of the week on Friday; he missed the final five games of the 2020 season with a calf injury, and the Vikings likely want to keep his health from becoming an issue again.
Cornerback Harrison Hand remained out with a hamstring injury, while tackle Christian Darrisaw (groin) and linebacker Nick Vigil (ankle) were limited.
Injured LBs could make containing Murray tougher
Linebacker Anthony Barr missed his fourth straight practice with knee issues after working in limited fashion last Wednesday. The Vikings have ordinarily used Barr as a spy for mobile quarterbacks; they face Kyler Murray on Sunday and Russell Wilson next week, so if they're without both Barr and Kendricks, their task could get even tougher.
"I don't want to go into specifically who [will spy Murray], but I think we'll have a defensive lineman do it one time, we might have a linebacker do it another time," co-defensive coordinator Adam Zimmer said. "Or even a DB do it at some point. We'll just give him a bunch of different looks, so they don't know who's the one looking at him all the time. And sometimes it's the whole defense, sometimes you're not specifically spying him, but you're in zone coverage and everybody's responsible for him."