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No Tyrann Mathieu means Cardinals need to find answer for Stefon Diggs in slot

MINNEAPOLIS -- Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu was officially ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings when the team’s inactives were released.

The Honey Badger was dealing with soreness in his shoulder on Friday, coach Bruce Arians said. Mathieu suffered a shoulder subluxation in Week 8 at Carolina.

Without Mathieu, the Cardinals’ defensive game plan against Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs will be impacted. Instead of defending him man-to-man in the slot, the Cardinals may opt for more zone. Diggs has caught 30 of his 61 passes this season from the slot, where the Cardinals will likely start either Marcus Cooper or Justin Bethel on Sunday. Diggs will be covered heavily by cornerback Patrick Peterson, but Peterson has covered just 46 snaps this season in the slot.

Also inactive for the Cardinals will be wide receiver Chris Hubert, cornerback Tharold Simon, guard Cole Toner, defensive tackle Olsen Pierre, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and defensive tackle Corey Peters.