The Minnesota Vikings made a huge decision this week.
After months of rumors about Dalvin Cook potentially being traded, the Vikings decided earlier in the week that they would release Cook if they couldn’t find a trade partner.
Today they made it official.
Unable to find a last-minute trade partner, the Vikings now have officially released four-time Pro-Bowl RB Dalvin Cook.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 9, 2023
With Cook gone, the expectation by many is that Alexander Mattison is about to become the team’s bell cow back 4 years after the Vikings spent a 3rd round pick on him.
That might not actually be the case.
Despite the hype that Mattison came with when the Vikings drafted him as an insurance plan for Cook after he had struggled with injuries early in his career, Mattison hasn’t been great when called into action.
Mattison has had chances to play since being drafted by the VIkings. He has started 6 games and has carried the ball 404 times. On those 404 carries, Mattison is averaging just 4.1 yards per carry and that number was actually under 4 each of the last two seasons.
The Vikings also have a few other interesting options in their backfield right now. They have drafted a running back in each of the last 3 drafts.
First it was Kene Nwangwu, who cost the Vikings a 4th round pick. He hasn’t gotten many opportunities as a runner, but he has already made an impact on special teams. He was named to the All-Pro 2nd Team for his contributions on special teams last season.
The following year, the Vikings took Ty Chandler in Round 5. He only carried the ball 6 times as a rookie, but had a strong final season in college and was kept around this long for a reason.
Back in April, the Vikings added another running back. This time they waited until Round 7 and drafted DeWayne McBride. McBride was a monster at UAB the last two years. In those two seasons, he racked up over 3000 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns.
He wasn’t used much as a pass catcher, but could absolutely be a weapon for the Vikings on first and second down.
There are many right now who are thinking that Alexander Mattison will just take over Dalvin Cook’s role this season and he should get the first crack at being the number 1 guy, but it seems like a very real possibility that the Vikings’ backfield turns into a committee.
It actually might be a committee led by another running back.
Don’t be surprised if Ty Chandler or DeWayne McBride ends up being the Minnesota Vikings running back you actually want in your fantasy lineup in a few months.