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Bengals-Vikings key players

Jared Allen, Minnesota DE

With nine sacks this season, the 31-year-old Allen hardly looks past his prime. And he’s had a history of performing well against the Bengals dating back to his days in Kansas City. Allen has 17 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in four games against Cincinnati.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota RB

The perennial All-Pro is key to everything the Vikings do and is expected to return from a foot injury that kept him out of last week’s win against Philadelphia. Despite missing that game, he’s still second in the NFL with 1,221 rushing yards this year.

Shaun Prater, Minnesota CB

If Xavier Rhodes isn’t recovered from his ankle injury, Prater will get the start against his former team. The Bengals drafted Prater in the fifth round in 2012, but he was among the final cuts this season. Look for the Bengals to try to get A.J. Green opposite Prater as much as possible.

Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati LB

The NFL’s leading tackler will be going against perhaps the league’s best tackle-breaker in Adrian Peterson. Tackling has been an issue of late for the Bengals, but it rarely is for Burfict.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati RB

Minnesota has one of the best pass-rushing defensive lines in the league, and Green-Ellis can give his offensive line an assist in slowing them down with some productive runs.

Brandon Tate, Cincinnati KR

Minnesota has the NFL’s leading kick returner in Cordarrelle Patterson, but over the last few weeks Tate has been as good as he’s ever been since coming to Cincinnati. And on a day when rain and wind are forecast, Tate could be instrumental in setting up the offense with some shorter fields.

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