If the Raiders can adequately protect quarterback Carson Palmer from a pass rush featuring Jared Allen, there are plays to be made in the Minnesota secondary.
The Vikings lost cornerback Antoine Winfield for the season with a fractured clavicle in a 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers, stripping an already leaky pass defense of its best player.
"It definitely changes things," Palmer said. "He's been a great player in this league for a long time. He can play all over the place, in the slot, outside, he can blitz, cover and tackle. Losing him was definitely a hit for them.
"Any time you get in a situation like that, you never know. A guy can come in and have a career game his first game."
Also out for Minnesota is cornerback Chris Cook, who is dealing with domestic battery charges, and starting safety Husain Abdullah is coming off a concussion. The Vikings signed veteran defensive back Bennie Sapp this week for depth.
With the Vikings ranked sixth in rush defense at 93.9 yards per game, opponents have found success through the air.
The Vikings are ranked 30th in the NFL in pass defense, giving up 272.8 yards per game. They've given up 18 touchdown passes with only six interceptions and an opposing passer rating of 101.7. Only the winless Indianapolis Colts (109.7) are worse.
It provides Palmer the opportunity to keep feeding rookie wide receiver Denarius Moore, who had five catches for 123 yards last week, as well as the
Heyward-Bey played sparingly against Denver on Nov. 6, with the only pass thrown in his direction falling incomplete. Heyward-Bey played much more against the Chargers four days later but was not the intended receiver of a single pass.
Palmer cautioned not to read too much into the production of the wide receivers, saying it could be a different leader every week.
"We don't really have a leading receiver, a guy that's going to catch 100 balls," Palmer said. "We have a bunch of good players, and sometimes it's their week, sometimes it's another player's week. So we're always hoping somebody steps up and makes plays. Last week it was Denarius. Who knows who it will be this week?"
Asked if Sunday presents an opportunity for Heyward-Bey to re-emerge, Raiders coach Hue Jackson said, "I don't think he de-emerged. Sometimes that's the way it happens. The ball just didn't go there. I think he's going to be OK. He's playing. And he'll get his opportunities. Sometimes the defense dictates otherwise, but I expect Darrius Heyward-Bey to have a big game. I do."
"I was surprised he wasn't able to go today, but that's part of it," Jackson said. "We're going to make sure we're going to (err) on the side of health for this football team."
Safety Michael Huff (ankle) had "a little bit of a setback" and didn't practice. Huff and Seymour were listed as "questionable." Also questionable is cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring) and safety Mike Mitchell (ankle).
As expected, running back Darren McFadden (midfoot sprain) and wide receiver Jacoby Ford (foot) didn't practice and won't play against Minnesota.
Tight end Kevin Boss (knee), center Samson Satele (knee), kicker Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring) and safety Matt Giordano (quad) are all probable.
"There are no trap games in the NFL," Jackson said. "When you lose, you lose. When you win, you win. If we lose, it won't be because it's a trap, it's because that team whipped our butt."