Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon was a big part of the team’s success on offense in their win over the Cleveland Browns this week.
After the first few games of the season, it was really unclear as to what exactly Jerick McKinnon’s role was with the Minnesota Vikings this year. The running back played sparingly on offense and struggled a bit in his attempt to be the team’s new kick returner.
So far so good as the 25-year-old rusher has definitely made the most of increased opportunities since Cook went down. From Week 5 to Week 7, McKinnon scored three touchdowns, caught 14 passes, and averaged 100.7 total yards per game.
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On Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, the Vikings’ running back continued to make plays with his increased opportunities.
During Minnesota’s win over the Browns, McKinnon finished with 122 total yards and one touchdown on 20 touches (including six catches). He also found the end zone for a two-point conversion in the third quarter to give the Vikings a seven point lead.
McKinnon’s yards on Sunday did not come by easy either. Of the running back’s 50 rushing yards against Cleveland, 46 came after contact according to Pro Football Focus. For a Minnesota offense that struggled for most of the day, the running back’s self-made production was greatly appreciated.
Unfortunately, it took Cook being lost with a season-ending injury to get McKinnon more time out on the field this season. But the veteran running back’s impressive performances since Week 5 have definitely helped to make the rookie’s absence from the field much less painful.