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Minter blames himself for Rams’ running explosion

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Inside linebacker Kevin Minter blamed himself for the Rams rushing explosion in the second half last Sunday. Not only did Minter fail to get in the proper gaps at times, he didn’t do a good job of getting the defense lined up.

“It’s on me to line (us) up right,” he said. “It’s on me to slide everybody, alert everybody with the ‘jet’ motions and stuff. We’re going to get better. I’m going to get better. I just made stupid mistakes. That’s all it was.”

–Guard Ted Larsen, who started the first three weeks, was inactive on Sunday. Mike Iupati returned from a knee injury to start at left guard, leaving Larsen without a role. A.Q. Shipley, the backup center, plays fullback in some goal-line situations. Earl Watford can play both guard and tackle. Bradley Sowell was active because he can play left tackle.

D.J. Humphries, the team’s first round pick, has not been inactive every game.

–Running back David Johnson is a rookie, but his fumble on the opening kickoff was a “kindergarten” mistake. Johnson broke to the left but kept the ball in his right hand. Rams safety Mark Barron stripped it.

“It was the ball in the wrong hand,” Johnson said. “A kindergarten thing. Had the ball on the inside, should have had it on the outside. He just hit the ball on the right spot and it came out.”

Notes: Running back Andre Ellington (knee) missed his third consecutive game Sunday, but the Cardinals are hopeful he will be available against the Lions this week. … Running back Chris Johnson has been productive as Andre Ellington’s replacement. In his three starts, Johnson has gained 265 yards on 60 carries, a 4.4-yard average. … Left guard Mike Iupati looked rusty in his season debut against the Rams. Iupati missed the first three games after undergoing knee surgery in training camp. … Quarterback Carson Palmer had won nine consecutive starts before the loss to the Rams on Sunday. That was one short of the franchise record set by Ray Mallouf in 1948.


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