Vikings OG Has Quietly Improved

2nd Year Viking
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After a couple of games to start the 2023 season, some Minnesota Vikings fans — well, many — were ready to end the Ed Ingram era at right guard and try something new on for size.

Not long after, the Vikings front office signed free-agent guard Dalton Risner, and the chants for Ingram-to-the-bench became deafening.

Vikings OG Has Quietly Improved

But it might’ve been advantageous that Minnesota’s coaching staff ignored the noise. Why? Somewhat quietly, Ingram is improving each week.

OG Has Quietly
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Risner did not take Ingram’s job upon signing in Minnesota and, in fact, only saw the field last weekend when left guard Ezra Cleveland was hurt. Cleveland’s status for Week 7 on Monday Night Football is up in the air, and Risner could see action at LG opposite Ingram.

Meanwhile, at least for about four games, Ingram has turned the tide in Year Two. His Pro Football Focus metrics are rising, and the chatter demanding his demotion has slowed to a whisper.

Vikings Activate Rookie
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Here’s Ingram’s per-game resume in 2023, according to PFF:

Week 1 | vs. TB = 46.2
Week 2 | at PHI = 56.2
Week 3 | vs. LAC = 81.5
Week 4 | at CAR = 64.1
Week 5 | at KC = 72.5
Week 6 | at CHI = 54.8

And in half of all Vikings games this year, Ingram has produced a pass-blocking score above 60.0, suggesting the weak point of his skillset (he’s a better run-blocker than pass-protector) is steadily climbing.

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Ingram also hasn’t been penalized in the last three games after three penalties in three games to start his sophomore season. While it may boggle some minds, rookie and second-year players often need time to develop, and Ingram seems like a current case study.

Fans tend to want every player drafted to show up and ball out immediately, and that’s simply reserved for an elite few. Ingram emphatically was not one of those elite few, but his performance in the last month has improved. Undoubtedly, in fact.

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What’s more, Minnesota’s offensive line is suddenly one of the best in the sport, if that can be believed. Per PFF, the Vikings offensive trenches rank first in the NFL per run-blocking and third in pass protection — which is what Vikings fans have dreamed of for roughly a decade. It’s here.

Now, Kevin O’Connell and the gang are tasked with running the football behind the league’s best run-blocking line a wee bit more. Minnesota ranks dead last in rushing playcall percentage and worst in time of possession, statistics that could be easily remedied with more rushing attempts — whether allotted to Alexander Mattison, Cam Akers, Kene Nwangwu, or Ty Chandler.

Ingram is 24 and under contract with the Vikings through the end of 2025.

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