Vikings 2019: Way too early 53-man roster projection

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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(Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /

Running Backs (4)

  • Starter: Dalvin Cook
  • Backups: Alexander Mattison, Mike Boone, Ameer Abdullah

Much like the odd hatred toward Cousins, the #CookIsABust contingent will have to wait at least one more year for a change in the backfield. Dalvin Cook has played in just 15 of 34 games (including playoffs) since being drafted, but he might be the most important piece to the Vikings offense this season. With a full (and healthy) offseason, a new zone scheme and possibly the emergence of a third passing weapon, Cook should be primed to explode if he stays healthy.

The Vikings’ Plan B for Cook could also be set in stone with the addition of Alexander Mattison. The Boise State product has had mixed reviews since the Vikings traded down three times to select him with the final pick of the third round in the NFL Draft, but he apparently fits the profile that offensive consultant Gary Kubiak desires in a running back.

Behind Mattison, there could be two or three backs competing for up to two spots. Mike Boone is the incumbent in this situation, but midseason pickup Ameer Abdullah could be a veteran alternative to the second-year UDFA out of Cincinnati. It’s also possible that Roc Thomas makes an appearance in this battle, but his status is up in the air after being arrested for marijuana possession earlier this offseason.