Beanie Wells (Bruce Yeung / Yeung Photography)
Derek Anderson will start at quarterback, RB Beanie Wells injury issues have resurfaced and stopping RB Adrian Peterson will be a must against the Vikings.
The Cardinals’ adventures at quarterback continue as Derek Anderson returns as the starter under center after backing up Max Hall for the previous three games.
Anderson’s decision to support his teammates and stay prepared – rather than become a distraction –has proved invaluable so far. Anderson witnessed the effects of a quarterback controversy first hand during his tenure in Cleveland and continued to work in the best interest of the team.
Anderson quote on staying supportive: “I just keep working every day. Be the best teammate I can to all the guys. I’ve been a part of different changes through my career and it does nothing but tear a team apart. I think it was key for everybody just to move forward. Obviously I want to be the quarterback … but if I’m not in there I don’t want to be a distraction.”
RB Beanie Wells has struggled since taking over the majority of the carries, and things won’t be any easier this week against a stout Vikings run defense. Minnesota enters Sunday’s matchup ranked 13th in rushing yards allowed and creating running lanes upfront will be a tall order for the offensive line.
Following last week’s game against Tampa Bay, Wells also experienced swelling in the same knee operated on to repair his meniscus earlier this year. There’s a reason for concern here and if Wells is limited against the Vikings expect Tim Hightower and LaRod Stephens-Howling to pick-up the slack.
STOPPING PETERSON A TOUGH TASK
The Cardinals allowed Tampa Bay RB LeGarrette Blount to rush for 120 yards on 22 carries a week ago, failing to contain his physical running style. Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson exhibits similar characteristics and is even better in open space. Rookie defensive tackle Dan Williams talked about the challenges Peterson presents to opposing defenses.
Williams quote on Peterson: “You watch Adrian Peterson and he’s the total package. He has speed, power, and agility, everything you would ask for in the perfect back. We have to keep our gap integrity, try not to do too much and play within the defense and we’ll be fine.”
Another area that plagued the Cardinals last week came on play-action passes. Bucs QB Josh Freeman had too much time in the pocket and Arizona’s secondary was unable to keeps tabs down the field. Given Peterson’s presence as one of the league’s elite running backs, there could be plenty of opportunities for Brett Favre and company to move the ball through the air.
Several players were limited this week during practice but veteran LB Clark Haggans (groin) remains the biggest question mark to play on Sunday. Alan Branch (back), Steve Breaston (knee), Will Davis (knee), Early Doucet (groin), Kenny Iwebema (knee) and Beanie Wells (knee) were also limited but should suit up against the Vikings.