Vikings Running Back Options Limited with Cam Akers Out

Ty Chandler
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Akers was just getting in the swing of things with the Minnesota Vikings until a season ending injury during the win Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. The 24 year old running back tore his Achilles after rushing for 25 yards on 8 carries in the game.

Cam Akers out for season (Achilles tear)

This is a very serious injury by itself, but for Akers it’s even more serious since he injured his right achilles back in 2021. That will make it even harder to come back with the same level of effectiveness.

This is the second week in a row that the Minnesota Vikings lost a player to an achilles injury. Last week, star quarterback Kirk Cousins left the game with an injury. It was eventually ruled an Achilles injury that will have him sidelined for the remainder of the season. So the loss of Akers is big considering this offense is already down Cousins and Justin Jefferson.

Minnesota Vikings running back options

The running game for the Vikings is a weak point this season. Starting running back Alexander Mattison has struggled to get things going. Akers was getting involved more in the offense and the Vikings have a little more flexibility with him on the field. He was a better fit for what Kevin O’Connell likes to do.

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His loss leaves the Vikings in a position that needs to be addressed. Akers was their last attempt to improve the running game. With him out for the season, lets look at the Vikings options moving forward.

In house options

The Vikings can keep hoping that Alexander Mattison will finally put it all together. He has been underwhelming as a starting running back so I hope Mattison, alone, is not their plan A.

Next on the Vikings depth chart is 25-year-old 2022 5th-round draft pick, Ty Chandler, followed by Kene Nwangwu, who was a healthy scratch last week. Both are less experienced that Mattison, but both are more explosive and dynamic backs.

I would like to see them work Chandler in as often as they did Akers, if not more. If they do, I would not be surprised to see Chandler taking the bulk of the carries, later in the season, if the Vikings stay in house. Again, my confidence in Mattison is minimal.

External options

The trade deadline has passed so the only way the Vikings can bring someone new in is through free agency. There are a few guys out there that could come in an compete. Not sure how many move the needle, but I think they bring someone in regardless even if it is just for depth.

Darrell Williams

After spending 4 seasons with the Chiefs and 1 with the Cardinals, Williams is currently a free agent. During the 2021 season he had over 500 yards with the Kansas City Chiefs rushing. Even better he had 452 yards receiving that season. He would be a decent plug and play fit for this offense and is worth a look.

Tevin Coleman

Tevin Coleman is an experienced veteran who could come in and bolster the running back room. The 29 year old may have something to prove after his last 2 stints with the Jets and 49ers were not up to expectation.

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Adrian Peterson

Hear me out. I am looking at the other options on this list and I am fully confident that a 38 year old Adrian Peterson could produce more than any of them. He may not be the best fit for the offense overall but at this point, the running game cant get any worse. Peterson himself still thinks he can play and personally, I would love to see him get that opportunity to prove it on the Minnesota Vikings.

Dominique Clare | Minnesota Sports Fan

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