5 current Vikings players primed for a larger role in 2023

(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) Jalen Nailor
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) Jalen Nailor /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Ty Chandler /

Ty Chandler – RB

Ideally, Dalvin Cook will not return to the Vikings next season – at least not at the cap hit that he’s set to hold. His production has slipped a bit, as he averaged just 4.4 yards per carry last season and was much more of a boom-or-bust player down the stretch.

Ty Chandler provides a similar skill set with speed to get to the edge and bust plays down the field, but he is not as polished as Cook was early in his career. Chandler has a chance to be a reliable receiving target, and supplemental back next to Alexander Mattison or whichever running back gets the bulk of the carries next season.

His rookie season was highlighted by injuries, and he saw the field for just 12 offensive snaps and received six touches for 20 yards. In three preseason games – which ultimately hold hardly any weight – Chandler rushed for 113 yards in three games while averaging 7.5 yards per attempt.

Minnesota can preserve Kene Nwangwu as the primary kick returner and still have the speed element on offense with Chandler. The Vikings need to be more dynamic on offense to make up for the lack of defense. Ty Chandler could be a contributing piece in his second season if given the right opportunity.