Purple Rumor Mill: Nonsense about Alexander Mattison, Young CB Dodged a Bullet, Ivan Pace

Part Autopsy
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

VikingsTerritory’s Purple Rumor Mill is a two-day chronicle each week. All the week’s rumors are lassoed and plopped in two spots — articles on Saturday and Sunday — for review. Today is the August 20th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Nonsense about Alexander Mattison, Young CB Dodged a Bullet, Ivan Pace

Remember — rumors are rumors. What you read on weekends in these pieces is what the world is talking about pertaining to the Vikings, not necessarily items that will come to fruition.

Here’s the second batch of the week. Yesterday’s can be read here.

Rumor: The Vikings are auditioning additional RBs because they’re not sold on Alexander Mattison as RB1.

cB Dodged
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

This one is sheer poppycock.

The Vikings have auditioned running backs like Kareem Hunt and Mike Davis recently, leading some fans to believe the club isn’t committed to Mattison as the RB1.

John Kriesel tweeted this week, “All of these RBs the Vikings are trying out seems to indicate that they do not have a ton of confidence in Mattison.”

FanSided headlined an article titled, ‘Vikings visit could signal lack of confidence in Alexander Mattison.’

To put it bluntly, the Vikings are not working out men like Mike Davis to become the RB1 in 2023. Let’s be serious. If anything, the workouts would be an indictment on current depth RBs like DeWayne McBride — not Mattison.

The Vikings coaching staff has sung Mattison’s praises all offseason. They’re not looking for Mike Davis to take his job.

Rumor: Rookie CB Mekhi Blackmon avoided a major injury scare this week.

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Blackmon was injured at Vikings-Titans joint practices this week, and folks held their breath about his long-term prognosis.

But NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero calmed anxieties Thursday with one tweet, “Vikings rookie CB Mekhi Blackmon appears to have dodged a major injury in today’s joint practice with the Titans, per source. Evaluations ongoing, but there’s optimism Blackmon — a third-round pick who’s been working with the starting defense — will be able to return soon.”

Crisis averted.

Rumor: Forget ‘playing time’ — Ivan Pace Jr. could start at LB for the Vikings in Week 1.

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

Pace Jr. has produced one of the most remarkable and out-of-nowhere summers in Vikings history.

He has risen from undrafted free-agent snub in the 2023 NFL Draft to preseason darling. And don’t look now, but starting Vikings linebacker Brian Asamoah has been hobbled lately by injury. Indeed, this paves the way for Pace Jr.’s ascension to a starter’s spot — if that can be believed.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell said about Pace Jr. earlier this week, “He did great with the green dot the other day in Seattle. So really, gold stars all the way around right now for Ivan, and as I’ve challenged him to do, you’re not just trying to compete to make our team.”

He added, “Let’s see where you can go and possibly help us win football games from the jump.”

That sounds like an invitation for Pace Jr. to start before too long. Perhaps on September 10th. You’ve been warned.


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 Viking obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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

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