Vikings Sign Veteran Running Back

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The Vikings survived a tumultuous cutdown day. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah released 35 players to get under the roster limit of 53 players before the deadline arrived on Tuesday afternoon. Part of those departures was rookie DeWayne McBride, putting the running back group to four players, one short of last year’s total.

Vikings Sign Veteran Running Back

Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwanwgu, and fullback C.J. Ham were the four remaining runners on the roster but not for long. The Vikings added former Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin to the team.

Vikings Sign Veteran Running Back
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Adam Schefter reported on the X app on Wednesday morning: “RB Myles Gaskin, released yesterday by the Dolphins, is signing today with the Vikings active roster, per source. Agents Drew Rosenhaus and Ryan Matha confirmed the deal with Minnesota, where Gaskin now will be reuniting with his former HC Brian Flores, the Vikings’ DC.”

Gaskin was a college running back for the Washington Huskies and he had a phenomenal college career, running for 5,323 yards and 57 touchdowns, having at least 1,268 yards and double-digit touchdown numbers in each of his four seasons.

That led to the Dolphins selecting the back in the seventh round of the 2019 draft. His measurables left a lot to be desired at only 5’10” and 200 lbs while running a 4.56 40-yard dash and he also wasn’t a prolific receiver in his time at Washington. In seven games in his rookie season, Gaskin recorded 133 rushing yards and 1 touchdown.

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The following two years were his most productive seasons in Miami. He gained over 1,900 yards on the ground and through the air in 2020 and 2021 combined, scoring 12 touchdowns from scrimmage. He turned into a solid three-down option.

In the 2022 season with incoming head coach and running game specialist Mike McDaniels, Gaskin dropped out of the rotation, only receiving 14 touches throughout the whole campaign. The Dolphins kept adding running backs and Gaskin was the odd-man out.

The veteran did not make the 53-man roster in Miami, mainly because they have one of the deepest running back rooms in the NFL. For the Vikings, the 26-year-old is a wonderful addition, providing some experience to a group that only featured starter Mattison with a serious NFL resume and two unproven backups Chandler and Nwangwu.

Chart before Final Preseason
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Chandler has shown to be a solid backup in back-to-back preseasons while Nwangwu has been hurt for a while and might not be ready for the season opener. He could also be an option to land on IR to miss the first four games of the season as the Vikings must open up a roster spot with Gaskin’s arrival and that’s one way to do it.

While not possessing game-breaking talent, the veteran is a solid depth option as he can be a reliable back both on the ground and in the passing game. It remains to be seen how head coach Kevin O’Connell will distribute the carries in the backfield but Gaskin gives the Vikings an additional body and certainly improves the team.

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