Vikings’ New Running Back Might Be … Official?

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The hints were there last week, but ESPN is apparently sold on the move.

Vikings’ New Running Back Might Be … Official?

That’s the status of running back Cam Akers with the Minnesota Vikings, and according to the “Transactions” section of ESPN’s website, Akers has signed with the Vikings, pending a physical.

running back
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

Rumors of an incoming Akers deal ran rampant last week, with two sources confirming with VikingsTerritory that the deal was all but done. However, Akers’ status on wasn’t discovered until Monday.

If ESPN has it right — nobody else has published or tweeted anything this official — he’d become the sixth running back on the team’s depth chart, along with Aaron Jones, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, Myles Gaskin, and DeWayne McBride. Akers played for the Vikings in 2023 before tearing his Achilles tendon in a contest at the Atlanta Falcons — the Josh Dobbs Game, as known by the team’s fans.

Pioneer Press’ Charley Walters wrote on June 30th, “If running back Cam Akers, recovering from Achilles surgery last November, passes an upcoming physical, look for the free agent to re-sign with the Vikings.” Tucked in an article about other Minnesota sports-themed tidbits, the news of Akers’ imminent return rapidly spread.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The franchise has no clear-cut RB3, but that all changed if the ESPN post is correct. Assuming his return to health is afoot, adding Akers back as RB3 hedges the bet against injury to Jones and Chandler. And that’s the knock on Jones at this stage of his career — injury. When Jones is healthy, he’s marvelous, but he didn’t fire up a full season in 2023.

Akers became a Viking via trade in September, a depth piece to the Vikings’ running backs behind Alexander Mattison and the aforementioned Chandler. Altogether, he tabulated 49 touches for 208 yards from scrimmage. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said about Akers after the November Achilles tear, “Cam has been phenomenal in our locker room, on the field, with our team. He’s enjoyed being a part of this.”

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota ranked 27th leaguewide per rushing DVOA in 2023, a woeful mark after emphasizing ground-game improvement all last offseason. Eyeing 2024, the Vikings will presumably prioritize improvement again in that aspect of the offense, and adding depth cannot hurt.

In May, Akers posted a video of himself working out in Eagan at Vikings headquarters, furthering speculation at the time that he could return in purple. The theories were evidently correct, especially if the ESPN transaction wasn’t a mistake.

Akers turned 25 last month.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by