4. Terry Allen (1991 – 1993)
- 47 games
- 641 carries
- 2,795 rushing yards
- 3,470 yards from scrimmage
- 26 touchdowns
The inclusion of Terry Allen in this ranking might be a bit controversial. A ninth-round draft pick in 1991, technically Allen missed his entire third season in 1993 after suffering an ACL injury leading up to the season.
On both sides of the injury, Allen started all 16 games for the Vikings and exceeded 1,000 yards rushing. Playing only three seasons with the Vikings, Allen’s 2,795 rushing yards place him 11th all-time in franchise history.
When he joined the Vikings in 1991, Allen was the backup to Herschel Walker and while starting only six games, he finished second on the team with 563 rushing yards to Walker’s 825 yards.
The following season Walker signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Allen established himself, leading Minnesota with 1,201 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns.
Without Allen playing in 1993, the Vikings run game suffered greatly with journeyman Barry Word leading the team with only 458 rushing yards. Upon his return in 1994, Allen picked up right where he left off, leading Minnesota in rushing, and finishing second in total yards from scrimmage with 1,179 yards.
Following the 1994 season, with Robert Smith ready to take over the starting running back position, the Vikings and Allen parted ways. Allen then signed with the Washington Redskins and he put together back-to-back 1,300-yards seasons while also leading the NFL in touchdowns with 21 in 1996.
Allen’s 47 games played was the highest total in the ranking.
3. Ted Brown (1979 – 1981)
- 46 games
- 623 carries
- 2,526 rushing yards
- 4,040 yards from scrimmage
- 19 touchdowns
The Vikings selected Teddy Brown with the 16th overall pick in the 1979 NFL Draft. Brown spent his entire career in Minnesota that spanned eight seasons. He finished with 4,546 rushing yards and 2,850 receiving yards.
The start of Brown’s career with the Vikings in 1979 coincides with Chuck Foreman’s final season with the team.
As a rookie, Brown shared the backfield with Foreman and Rickey Young and he finished second on the team with 551 rushing yards. The following season was the first of three straight years as the team’s leading rusher. Brown leads this ranking with 176 receptions over his first three seasons.
Averaging 4.1 yards per carry over his career, Brown was a steady and consistent contributor. His only 1,000-yard season came in 1981, his third year with the Vikings. His 4,546 rushing yards places him fifth on Minnesota’s career rushing list.