The Vikings add a running back as two playmakers return to practice.
The Minnesota Vikings needed a running back after rookie star Dalvin Cook suffered a torn ACL in his left knee last Sunday. Cook, who will miss the reminder of the season, left big shoes to fill. The Vikings looked to the open market to find his roster replacement.
Stevan Ridley Signs
After the Vikings lost Cook Sunday, they tried out four veteran running backs on Wednesday. Free agents Steven Ridley, Troymaine Pope, Bobby Rainey and Josh Rounds all tried out. The Vikings signed Ridley Thursday. Cook was placed on injured reserve.
Ridley, 28, is 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds. He played college football at LSU. He was a 3rd-round pick for the New England Patriots in 2011. Ridley’s best season was in 2012 when he rushed for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns. The seven-year veteran started a career-high 12 games that season.
Five games into the 2014 season, Ridley tore his ACL and MCL while with the Patriots. Since then, he’s been a journeyman. He’s spent time with the New York Jets, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons. Ridley was with the Denver Broncos in training camp this spring, where he reportedly looked good.
The Vikings rushing attack now features Murray as the power back and McKinnon as the change-of-pace or third-down back. Ridley, who will wear number 31 for the Vikings, is not expected to have a large role with the team, but he could see playing time as both Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are nursing injuries. The current depth at running back:
- Latavius Murray
- Jerick McKinnon
- Stevan Ridley
- C.J. Ham (FB)
Michael Floyd To Make Vikings Debut
The Vikings, in need of a playmaker after losing Cook, are getting one. Wide receiver Michael Floyd’s suspension is over. The Saint Paul native returned to practice Thursday. Floyd will join starters Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, who are currently the NFL’s top receiving duo.
Up to this point, the production from the other wide receivers has been disappointing. On the season, Laquon Treadwell has 5 catches for 42 yards and Jarius Wright has four catches for 39 yards and a touchdown. Neither player has made a large enough impact to warrant consistent playing time. Floyd will be given the opportunity to take the number three spot from Treadwell and Wright.
Now with seven active receivers, expect the Vikings to make a roster move next week. According to Chris Tomasson, the Vikings have a roster exemption on Floyd this week so they won’t have to make a move until Tuesday. The current depth at wide receiver:
- Stefon Diggs
- Adam Thielen
- Michael Floyd
- Laquon Treadwell
- Jarius Wright
- Stacy Coley
- Rodney Adams
Sam Bradford Optimistic
The Vikings saw another familiar face return to practice this week. Quarterback Sam Bradford returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday. It was his first practice Since September 21st. Bradford, who’s nursing a “bone bruise” of the knee, practiced again Friday and Saturday.
After suffering the injury during the Week 1 victory over the New Orleans Saints, Bradford said this week he’s feeling more optimistic about the long-term outlook on his knee after visiting with Dr. James Andrews to receive a second opinion.
As Vikings Territory Doctor Sam Neumann wisely predicted, the injury needs time to heal and will likely not be 100% until after the season, but Bradford is anxious to play.
“At this point, you’re going to have to play through some discomfort,” Bradford said. “I would like it to be 100 percent, but I don’t even know if that’s possible until the bye week or the end of the year.”
Depending on how Bradford’s knee responds to practice, he could start Monday night at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears. The former number one overall pick will have another practice this week to determine whether or not he can play.
If he cannot start Monday, he will look to start next week’s game against the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings are 1-2 under backup quarterback Case Keenum.