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7-3, 1st in NFC North

Ben Goessling ESPN Staff Writer 

With Harrison Smith out on Sunday against the Falcons, the Vikings will give second-year safety Antone Exum his first career start, according to a league source. The Vikings have had high hopes for the converted cornerback, who should give them a better option in coverage than Robert Blanton. Smith's injury doesn't figure to be a long-term ailment, but if Exum performs well on Sunday, he might have a chance to eventually unseat Andrew Sendejo.

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Matthew Berry doesn't Digg it this week

It's not that TMR isn't a fan of Stefon Diggs. It's that the rookie wideout faces a Falcons defense that has absolutely locked down outside receivers. Berry: Love/Hate

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What to expect in Vikings-Falcons

Atlanta has struggled lately, but Matt Ryan has never lost three straight at home. Who will prevail in a battle of wild-card hopefuls? Our NFL Nation bloggers debate. Week 12 predictions

Stats & Info

Can Falcons halt skid?

Losers of three in a row and four out of the last five, the Atlanta Falcons only have a 44 percent chance to take down the visiting Minnesota Vikings, according to ESPN's Football Power Index.

Best Daily NFL Fantasy picks (1:00)
Devonta Freeman won't practice due to concussion (0:54)
Who's a better QB: Favre or Rodgers? (2:24)
Vikings' defense will hold off Falcons (0:54)

Ben Goessling ESPN Staff Writer 

Vikings injury report for Wednesday: Harrison Smith and Everson Griffen were the only two not practicing:

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Vikings' emergency QB: Jarius Wright

Jerick McKinnon played quarterback at Georgia Southern, but he rarely threw the ball. Wright doesn't have experience under center, but the coaching staff would probably turn to him in a pinch. Emergency QBs

AP Photo

Woodson among 32 sportsmanship nominees

Veterans Charles Woodson, Philip Rivers and Calvin Johnson are among 32 players nominated for the Art Rooney Award that honors sportsmanship in the NFL.

What you need to know for Week 12 (1:00)
ESPN Stats & Info

Surprise names among top rushers

It's no surprise that Adrian Peterson leads the league in rushing yards over the last five weeks. But less-heralded veterans, including Doug Martin, Darren McFadden and Jonathan Stewart, are hot on his heels.

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No reason to worry in Minnesota

The Vikings might not win the NFC North, but they're still in pole position in the wild-card race. Minnesota could improve its chances even further with a win over a reeling Falcons squad on Sunday. Playoff projections (Insider)

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What's to make of Diggs?

During the first four games of his NFL career, Vikings WR Stefon Diggs racked up 25 receptions, 419 yards and two touchdowns on 36 targets. Since then, however, Diggs has accrued 11 receptions, 154 yards and no scores on 15 targets. Fantasy 32 (Insider)

Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports

Vikings slip two spots in rankings

Teddy Bridgewater & Co. couldn't handle the Packers in Week 11, but the loss is nothing to be ashamed of. Our panel didn't dock Minnesota too heavily. Power Rankings

Team Stats

Passing Yards188.1Tied-30th
Rushing Yards141.93rd
Points For21.1Tied-22nd
Points Against18.43rd

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