Sleep On Ty Chandler at Your Own Peril

do the right thing
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The Minnesota Vikings were virtually a mess at the running back position last year, but they have revamped the room with a new starter. Aaron Jones is among the best free agents brought in by Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, but that doesn’t mean you should sleep on Ty Chandler.

Sleep On Ty Chandler at Your Own Peril

A season ago, the Minnesota Vikings went into the regular season with Alexander Mattison as their unquestioned starter. Taking over as the lead back after serving as Dalvin Cook’s backup seemed like a straightforward plan of attack. The question about the position was less about what Mattison could do than about the depth behind him. Unfortunately, he flopped, and that depth immediately became a problem.

ty chandler
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After cycling through a couple of options, including a solid-looking Cam Akers before his injury, Ty Chandler assumed the lead role down the stretch. The former North Carolina Tar Heel looked the part of a capable starter, and he showed much better than Mattison did at any point while getting the bulk of the touches. As Jones takes over, he’s returning to a rotational role, but sleeping on him doesn’t seem wise.

For years, Vikings fans have seen Aaron Jones operate as a productive runner from the opposite sideline. Playing for the Green Bay Packers, Jones has exploited Minnesota defenses over the years. While he has seen other backs take touches away, the only time he hasn’t produced is while on the shelf.

Please Step Up
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Unfortunately, injuries are a mainstay for Jones. His production remains elite when on the field, but it always remains a question as to when he will need to bow out. The Vikings hope to have Jones available for most of their contests in the season ahead, but getting the most out of him may revolve around keeping him fresh.

Chandler can be an excellent option in a change-of-pace role, and operating as a third-down back may rely completely on his development in pass-blocking situations. Chandler is a solid receiver out of the backfield, and with a different type of quickness, his style should work well alongside Jones.

Made a Statement
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Expect head coach Kevin O’Connell to utilize the tandem in creative ways, and while Chandler may have lost the starting role again, there’s no reason to think he can’t be wildly productive during 2024.


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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