Former Viking Appears Focused on Return

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The list of former Vikings who are free agents dwindled to seven following the re-signing of defensive tackle James Lynch. Dalton Risner remains available and at the top of many Vikings fans’ wishlists, but that move doesn’t appear in the cards for now.

Former Viking Appears Focused on Return

However, one Vikings free agent appears to be working towards a return, with running back Cam Akers posting a workout for the X platform this week.

Those with an eagle eye will have spotted the Minnesota Vikings logo in the background as Akers worked out. That would suggest that Akers is working towards gaining full fitness in Minnesota, which leads to the presumption that he is looking to prove his fitness in order to get a contract with the Vikings.

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That would be a reasonable conclusion, as a fully fit Akers adds more to the RB depth chart than Kene Nwangwu, Myles Gaskin, or DeWayne McBride. Adding Akers to Aaron Jones and Ty Chandler would give the Vikings a good trio of running backs and add strength at a vital position this season. An announcement of a 1-year contract for Akers shortly shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The Importance of the Run Game in 2024

This time last year, there was a lot of talk about the need for a better run game in Minnesota. That turned out to be a disaster as the run game got worse, with the decision to give Alexander Mattison a chance to lead the Vikings’ rushing attack proving a bad one. We are in the same scenario again, but the importance is even greater.

With a veteran QB like Kirk Cousins at the helm, the Vikings could afford to lean on the passing game more. Whether it’s Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy calling the shots from under center this season, both will need all the help they can get.

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One of the best ways to help a young quarterback is with an efficient run game. That is why the Vikings brought in an experienced and proven back in Jones to go with Chandler. Adding Akers to the mix will strengthen the cause, leaving the Vikings’ offensive line needing to play their part. Minnesota’s run blocking last season was not good despite the fact that they had linemen who were more than capable. The Vikings simply have to be better at running the ball this season.

Akers in Purple

On September 23, Minnesota traded a conditional sixth-round pick for a conditional seventh-round pick and Akers with the Los Angeles Rams. Kevin O’Connell turned to a player he had coached in LA to provide a spark to the Vikings’ faltering run game. Akers made his Vikings debut in Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers and did provide a spark, helping Minnesota to their first win of the season at the fourth attempt. He also scored the Vikings’ first rushing touchdown of the season in Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers.

Minnesota General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media about the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft from the TCO Performance Center. The Vikings have long-term draft needs at quarterback, cornerback, and interior offensive line.

Akers rushed for 138 yards and 1 touchdown from 38 attempts across six games before a ruptured Achilles tendon abruptly ended his season. Injuries have been the story of Akers’ career, which is why only a one-year contract is likely. The numbers don’t jump off the page, but there was an energy and toughness to his running that the Vikings sorely needed. Bringing that back for the RB3 position would be a sensible move that gives the team more depth.

A Vikings and Akers reunion seems likely.