Even National Voices Are Calling for Dalton Risner to Vikings

dalton risner
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings lost in Week 1 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 20-17, a game frustratingly beset by Minnesota’s turnovers and suspect offensive line performance.

Even National Voices Are Calling for Dalton Risner to Vikings

One play encapsulated the tomfoolery when right guard Ed Ingram appeared to inadvertently cause a fumble by swiping the football out of quarterback Kirk Cousins’ hands.

And about six weeks ago, the Vikings auditioned an Ingram alternative, a man named Dalton Risner, formerly of the Denver Broncos. A deal did not culminate in Eagan late in the summer, but with Ingram’s renewed struggles, Vikings fans ignited the social media chants for Risner all over again.

Even National Voices
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

This time, Vikings fans aren’t alone.

Bleacher Report published an article this week, recommending five free agents to join teams after Week 1 developments. For the Vikings, that was Risner, a 28-year-old who actually wants to join the Vikings roster.

Could This Dalton
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Risner responded to Vikings fans’ requests for a contract signing over the weekend, seeming to be all-in if his telephone rings. Have a look, and yes, these are from Risner’s X app account on Sunday:

Ergo, Risner is all ears about joining Minnesota’s roster, Vikings fans vehemently want the deal to come together, and now Bleacher Report has endorsed the union.

BR’s Alex Kay wrote Tuesday, “Even if the entire offensive line is healthy and active, the Vikings must make some changes in the trenches. One player who could step in and immediately help is Dalton Risner, whom the Vikings brought in for a look during training camp but declined to sign at the time.”

Other Free Agents
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

Left tackle Christian Darrisaw was limited in practice on Monday with an ankle tweak, and center Garrett Bradbury didn’t practice with a back malady.

“Risner failed to catch on with a team before the start of the 2023 campaign despite garnering plenty of interest following a solid run with the Denver Broncos. While he was never a Pro Bowl talent, the 2019 second-round pick started 62 games during his tenure in the Mile High City and never allowed more than four sacks — including giving up none in 2020 — during any of his four seasons, per PFF,” Kay added.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Risner was coworkers with current Vikings offensive line coach Chris Kuper in Denver for three years, so the relationship angle is already evident. The Broncos drafted Risner in the 2nd Round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and the man was linked to the Vikings via the draft lead-up process. Now, four years later, there’s a practical path to bring him aboard as a free agent.

The former Bronco is an offensive guard asset that Vikings fans aren’t used to — he protects against the pass better than the run. For years, Vikings football has showcased the opposite. Perhaps the Vikings can, once and for all, end the stale mindset of run-over-pass offensive linemen in terms of skillset emphasis and enter a free-agent agreement with Risner.

If no Risner acquisition materializes, the Vikings will hope Ingram’s transgressions were a Week 1 outlier and that he’ll mature on the fly in the coming weeks and months. Otherwise, veteran Chris Reed is on the roster, albeit on the Non-Football Injury list to start the season.

Risner posted this on the X app Monday, an apparent cliffhanger regarding his travel destination:

Image Courtesy of Dalton Risner on X

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.