Trade! Vikings HC Reunites With Playmaker

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The Minnesota Vikings started with a 0-2 record into the campaign and head coach Kevin O’Connell is sitting at a negative record for the first time in his tenure as Vikings head coach. Despite the losses, the team certainly showed on Thursday that they can compete with the Eagles if they stop shooting themselves in the foot, perhaps a surprising takeaway from the matchup.

Trade! Vikings HC Reunites With Playmaker

Trade! Vikings Hc Reunites With Playmaker
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The Vikings likely need to win ten of the remaining 15 games for playoff contention, a tough task. To do that, the purple team needs some reinforcements and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah added a couple of them. Free agent offensive lineman Dalton Risner was signed. His role is still a mystery and there are countless theories about who he will replace.

In addition to the guard, the Vikings acquired running back Cam Akers via trade from the Los Angeles Rams. The teams will swap late-round picks in 2026, according to Tom Pelissero.

Akers reuintes with his former offensive coordinator O’Connell who was the OC in Los Angeles in 2020 and 2021. He comes in to rejuvenate the rushing attack, a unit that has been disastrous through two games, rushing for only 69 yards – tied for the eighth-lowest total after Week 2 in the Super Bowl era.

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The running back was perhaps the best available option for the Vikings. He had some productive games and seasons under head coach Sean McVay, but somehow, the offensive mastermind hasn’t been a big fan of his rusher and tried to get rid of him. A fresh start for both the player and the franchise was the best outcome for both parties.

The fourth-year runner played in a committee in his debut season, rushing for 625 yards and 2 scores in 13 games. He added 272 yards from scrimmage in two postseason games. A few weeks before the 2021 season began, Akers tore his Achilles, often a death sentence for runners. Akers was different as he returned to form and made a miraculous comeback in the final regular season game. He also starred in the playoffs for the eventual Super Bowl winners, adding roughly 250 scrimmage yards in four games.

In 2022, Akers was expected to be the unquestioned starter in the backfield but that didn’t happen. The club and the athlete wanted a divorce but no deal could be found, so Akers stayed with the Rams and has some phenomenal games to close out the season, logging three straight 100-yard rushing games and a total of 786 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns in 2022.

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Still only 24 years old, the hope is that Akers can provide some energy to the dead running game. It remains to be seen if he takes over for Mattison as the lead back, if the two form a committee, or if he replaces Ty Chandler as the top backup.

Akers’ familiarity with his new head coach and the offensive coordinator Wes Phillips should lead to him quickly settling in and seeing the field. His first chance is Sunday’s game against the Chargers. The two 0-2 teams face off in a must-win contest.

The Vikings added a promising player with upside in a low-cost transaction, limiting the risk to a minimum. Akers’ acquisition also sends a clear message to the fanbase, the team, and the league, that the Vikings aren’t done with their 2023 season and aren’t starting to begin to think about tanking, they still want to be competitive.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt