Do the Vikings Need Another Running Back?

Michigan running back Blake Corum runs the ball in for a touchdown during fourth quarter at the College Football Playoff national championship game against Washington at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Monday, Jan.8, 2024. © Melanie Maxwell / USA TODAY NETWORK.

When the Minnesota Vikings head into free agency, they must determine their priority on addressing the running back position. Alexander Mattison has been jettisoned, making it Ty Chandler’s position to run with. How quality of a running mate does he need, though?

Do the Vikings Need Another Running Back?

During his tenure as head coach for the Minnesota Vikings, it’s been more than apparent that Kevin O’Connell doesn’t lean heavily on his running game. Despite having been available for each contest, Dalvin Cook had one of his least productive seasons as a professional in his last with Minnesota. Alexander Mattison took over as the starter last season, and despite looking like a ready-made fill-in, he flopped mightily.

Need Another Running
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

When looking to spark the running game, O’Connell turned to players like Cam Akers and Ty Chandler. The former looked spry after being acquired in trade prior to blowing out his Achilles again. The latter finally got a substantial run and ended up owning the starting role. When going into 2024, it will be Chandler’s position to run with.

There are multiple paths the Vikings could go down when building around Chandler. Last season, it was suggested that the running back room left something to be desired. Myles Gaskin was signed to address that, but as things stand currently, the sentiment has to ring even louder. Chandler looked qualified for the role, but the depth around him was non-existent.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports.

In the draft, Minnesota could choose to go after one of the more premier options that should be there after the first round. Someone like Blake Corum or Bucky Irving would be a nice complement to Chandler, but it would require utilizing a draft asset at a position that isn’t way up there on the list of needs for O’Connell’s squad.

If they choose to address things through free agency, someone like Tony Pollard or D’Andre Swift would be a nice add, but they require a financial commitment that would effectively add on to the already $4 million in dead cap left from Mattison.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings pieced the running back position together a year ago throughout the season. Akers was the best option before getting hurt and was acquired through a low-cost trade mid-year. Chandler probably needs a contingency plan, but to what extent that requires an actual investment remains debatable. Spending on a position that O’Connell largely overlooks might not be the best plan with so many other needs present.


Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.

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