Vikings Running Back Dilemma

Picture by TSP staff

Picture by TSP staff

Ben Schneider, Reporter

The Minnesota Vikings started out their season looking like they may be a team to take seriously this year. However,  injuries and a weak second-string may make the season more difficult than they thought.

With Dalvin Cook out after Monday’s game, Jerrick Mckinnon is looking to step into his spot for the remainder of the season. This year the Vikings started with a win at home vs. the Saints, where they relied heavily on rookie Dalvin Cook from FSU. Cook broke Adrian Peterson’s long-standing record for most yards in a rookie’s debut game by rushing for 127 yards on 22 carries. The new recruit out of FSU looked explosive, agile, and ready to lead the Vikings as a number one running back this season. Cook continued to be their go-to back for the next three games racking up 74 carries for 354 yards after the first four games, the third-best in the league. This young rookie’s season was looking very promising.

At the beginning of the third quarter against the Lions with 10:25 to go, Cook was handed the ball once again, but as he made a move upfield, one wrong move landed Cook on the ground holding his knee. He was taken off and it was said he would not return for the remainder of the game. At this point, Cook already had 66 yards and a touchdown, losing him would end in a 7-14 loss for the Vikings. Soon after the game, it was clear that Cook would not be returning for the rest of the year.  The Vikings are now faced with trying to find a replacement for their number one running back. 

According to the Star Tribune, rumors were flying about the Vikings engaging in a trade with the Saints to acquire their old running back, Adrian Peterson. Getting Peterson back would mean the Vikings would have a starting back, but we would have to pay off the rest of his contract. 

In week five against the Bears, the Vikings decided to make Jerick McKinnon their number one starting back and put Latavius Murray in the backup spot. Mckinnon who previously only had 10 carries for 26 yards was given the ball 16 times and targeted for receptions 6 times for a total of 146 yards on the night. With 3:31 left in the 3rd, Mckinnon broke free for a 58 yard touchdown. 

It seems as though Jerick McKinnon may be Dalvin Cook’s replacement for the rest of the season. If McKinnon keeps up the same explosive running he brought on Monday vs. the Bears, he might just be able to lock that spot down. Next week the Vikings take on the Packers who have allowed the 11th most rushing yards to other teams this season. It will be an interesting game for Jerick Mckinnon to show the rest of Minnesota that Monday wasn’t just a lucky game. Tune in Sunday the 15th to see the Vikings in action.