Despite coming in as the backup for Adrian Peterson, the hope was that Jerick McKinnon could serve as a great rotational running back to use his great speed and elusiveness. After Peterson’s injury, McKinnon’s role got much larger, but sadly his production did not.
As expected with the injuries to the offensive line, McKinnon struggled to gain solid chunks of yardage. He may have led the team in rushing, but his 3.4 yards per carry were the worst of his career and his contributions to the running game was moderately disappointing at 5.9 yards per catch.
McKinnon ended the year with 539 rushing yards on 159 attempts and 255 receiving yards on 43 catches, reaching the end zone a total of 4 times through the air and on the ground. Quarterback Sam Bradford did seem to enjoy getting the ball to him, as he enjoyed career highs in catches and targets.
Under contract through the 2017 season, McKinnon should be considered a lock to return to the Minnesota Vikings. A down year also shouldn’t put too much of a damper on his future potential or past accomplishments. As said multiple times already, improving the offensive line will make all these players look better.