Noteworthy: The Vikings' 49 offensive snaps were their fewest since their loss to Green Bay on Oct. 27, and they held the ball for just 20:28 -- also their worst figure since the first Packers game. They started the game making frequent use of their '20' personnel, with a third receiver replacing a tight end. The move made sense, since the Vikings were without Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson, and it allowed Simpson to push his snap count back to the top of the receivers group. The former Bengals receiver, who got through a scary sideline hit, also gets more playing time because he's the best blocker of the three receivers who play the most. ... Gerhart re-injured his hamstring on the third play of the game, chasing Reggie Nelson after Cassel's fumble. That meant the Vikings had to turn to Banyard (who was signed off the practice squad on Sunday) when they decided to sit Peterson down in the third quarter. Peterson had just four carries after logging seven in the first quarter.
Noteworthy: Henderson saw his playing time rebound to its highest level since the Vikings' win over Washington on Nov. 7, after Cole got hurt early in the game. That sent Henderson back to middle linebacker after he started the game at weakside linebacker. Cole, who had a walking boot on his right foot after the game, might not be able to play Week 17, which could give Henderson a chance to play another game in the middle. ... The Vikings had talked about wanting to reduce Smith's playing time after he logged 60-plus snaps in his first game back from turf toe, but he still wound up playing more than any of their safeties on Sunday. ... Cook said after the game the Vikings were planning to rotate him with Sherels and Prater on Sunday, since he was coming off a knee injury, but the way he played on Sunday didn't help his cause for staying on the field. He got beat for two touchdowns, and was targeted 10 times, according to Pro Football Focus.