The Minnesota Vikings — a team that has inked Stephen Weatherly, Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson, and Nick Vigil this offseason — have taken steps to solidify the RB3 slot of the depth chart. And, it’s a familiar name.
Barring another running back transaction, Ameer Abdullah will handle the team’s RB3 activities in 2021.
Vikings are re-signing RB Ameer Abdullah, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 24, 2021
Attention was necessary for this position because the team allowed Mike Boone to walk away to Denver last week.
Broncos have reached agreement with former Viking RB Mike Boone, per source. Boone a No. 3 RB/core special teamer in 3 seasons with George Paton’s Vikes. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 17, 2021
Boone-to-Denver came to fruition in large part because of the connection between the Vikings — and Denver’s new general manager. George Paton was a long-time lieutenant to Vikings boss man, Rick Spielman. Paton departed Minnesota this offseason to be the managerial skipper in the Broncos front office.
He evidently enjoys Mike Boone.
Hometown hero for the Broncos — Phillip Lindsay — signed a deal with the Houston Texans after Denver declined to re-up with his services. Linsday will now audition for an RB1 gig in southeast Texas whereas Boone will likely be a bonafide RB2 in Denver. Melvin Gordon is the team’s quasi-bellcow. In any event, it’s a promotion for Boone. The Unviersity of Cincinnati alumnus was an RB3 in Minnesota, “trapped” behind Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison.
On Abdullah, he’s been a member of the Vikings since teammate Kirk Cousins’ first season, 2018. During his purple career, he has rushed the ball 31 times for 157 yards and caught 24 passes for 156 yards — in 39 games.
Abdullah has scored three touchdowns with the Vikings.
Arguably more importantly, he is a special teams asset. Since joining the franchise, Abdullah has played roughly 60% of all special teams snaps. He’s returned 38 kicks in three seasons. Minnesota’s special teams efficiency was historically bad in 2020, so any competent bodies are a welcome sight. New special teams coordinator Ryan Ficken will take over all special teams duties in 2021.
Some decried the Abdullah move as non-sexy. But truth be told — Boone was a bird that didn’t deserve to be confined to an RB3 cage. The “promotion” of Abdullah to the spot is more aligned with the order of the world. That is — a running back that is serviceable when called upon.
Some theorize Boone was too dynamic for that role.
Ameer Abdullah has spent 53% of his NFL career with the Vikings.