Minnesota Vikings Urged to Acquire Super Bowl-Winning Running Back as Replacement for Injured Mattison


The Minnesota Vikings running back room suffered a significant loss when starter Alexander Mattison exited their Week 14 win over the Las Vegas Raiders with an ankle injury in the third quarter. Mattison was moving the ball effectively, tallying 10 carries for 66 yards before straining his right ankle on December 10. Ty Chandler took over lead back duties but couldn’t find the same running room, posting 35 yards on 12 carries. The Vikings are lacking experience without Mattison as Chandler and Kene Nwangwu combined for just six carries in their careers before 2023.

Entering a crucial stretch of the season, Minnesota needs more experience in the running back room if Mattison misses any time. Fortunately, there is a veteran free agent who has plenty of experience, especially in the postseason that the Vikings should at the very least take a look at.

Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams, who has nearly 300 carries, a 1,000-yard season and seven career playoff appearances is available for likely a veteran minimum contract.

Darrel Williams’s Super Bowl Experience Could Help Vikings
Undrafted in 2018, Williams worked his way into a rotational role in the Chiefs backfield as a short-yardage thumper and a receiving threat. His strength and physical running style were on display when he scored a pair of 1-yard touchdowns in 2019 against the Detroit Lions.

The Chiefs claimed their first Super Bowl while Williams was on injured reserve during the 2019 season, however, he played a vital role in their return to the championship game in 2020.

Williams earned a start against the Cleveland Browns in the divisional round, rushing for 78 yards on 13 carries and catching all four of his targets for 16 yards receiving in a 22-17 win. He added 53 rushing yards and a touchdown on 13 carries in a 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship. Williams played in the Super Bowl but disappeared from the game plan as the Chiefs found themselves behind early in a 31-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kansas City signed Williams to a one-year extension in 2021 which proved worthwhile. Williams rushed for a career-high 558 rushing yards and six touchdowns while catching 47 passes for 452 yards and two touchdowns through the air to surpass 1,000 all-purpose yards in 17 games and seven starts.

Williams went on to sign a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals. The primary backup to James Conner, Williams took 21 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown, posting an average of 4.9 yards per carry in 2022. He suffered a hip injury that held him out of the team’s final nine games.

At the age of 28, Williams still has some tread and little wear as a free agent at this stage of the season. He isn’t going to be an explosive threat in the running game but could fit Mattison’s mold in the offense.

Injuries on the Offensive Line Impacting Vikings Running Game
At one point during Sunday’s win over the Raiders, three starting offensive linemen were missing. Right guard Ed Ingram was out with a hip injury, while right tackle Brian O’Neill exited the game with an ankle sprain. Guard Dalton Risner also left the field for a handful of plays but returned to action. O’Neill was seen leaving Allegiant Stadium in a walking boot, which doesn’t bode well for the entire offensive line.

David Quessenberry filled in for O’Neill and will likely be leaned on if O’Neill misses more time this season.

In conclusion, the Minnesota Vikings are facing challenges in the running back room with the injury to Alexander Mattison and the lack of experienced depth. Adding a veteran like Darrel Williams, who brings Super Bowl experience and a solid track record, could provide the team with the stability and depth they need during a crucial stretch of the season. Furthermore, the injuries on the offensive line further highlight the need for a reliable presence in the backfield. Keeping an eye on Williams as a potential addition to the roster could be a wise move for the Vikings as they look to secure their playoff aspirations.

By Trevor Squire


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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