15 greatest Minnesota Vikings running backs of all-time

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook
Former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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15 Greatest Minnesota Vikings Running Backs of All-Time

3. Dalvin Cook (2017 - 2022)

If Mike Zimmer was still the head coach of the Vikings heading into the 2023 season, Dalvin Cook would likely still have a spot in the team's locker room. But Zimmer was fired in 2022, and Minnesota's new regime is one that doesn't believe in paying a high price for a running back. So, after six seasons, the Vikings decided to move on from Cook.

With Minnesota, his NFL career got off to a blazing fast start, as he rushed for 127 yards in his very first game with the franchise, and after his first three contests with the Vikings, he was on pace to finish his rookie season with more than 1,500 rushing yards.

Unfortunately, a torn ACL ended Cook's rookie campaign in Week 4, and he wasn't really back to his old self out on the field until 2019. Once he felt fully recovered, however, he got back to playing at a very high level.

From 2019 to 2022, Cook scored a total of 46 touchdowns, rushed for at least 1,100 yards in each season, and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times.

In an era in which elite running backs are not as common as they once were in the NFL, Cook could end up being one of the last guys to excel as a true three-down back who could do it all out on the field.

2. Chuck Foreman (1973 - 1979)

Before guys like Marshall Faulk and LaDainian Tomlinson came along in the early part of the 21st century with their elite mixture of running and catching out of the backfield, Chuck Foreman was viewed as one of the most versatile running backs in NFL history.

Foreman entered the league in 1973 after he was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft. Unlike some of the other running backs on this list, he made an impact for the Vikings very quickly.

Foreman ended his rookie season with 1,163 yards from scrimmage and six total touchdowns, which resulted in his first-career Pro Bowl selection in addition to being named the Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press.

During the next four years (1974 - 1977), he scored a total of 60 touchdowns and averaged over 1,500 yards from scrimmage per season. Foreman was easily on the path to the Pro Bowl Football Hall of Fame after his first five years in Minnesota.

Unfortunately, injuries got the best of him, and his time with the Vikings came to an end after the 1979 season.

1. Adrian Peterson (2007 - 2016)

Were you expecting anyone else? Adrian Peterson is, without a doubt, the greatest running back to ever suit up for the Vikings. There is no debate to be had.

Like Chuck Foreman, Peterson didn't waste any time after he arrived in Minnesota, as he rushed for 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns during his first season in the NFL. His outstanding performance in 2007 resulted in him being named that season's Offensive Rookie of the Year.

All Peterson did during his second year with the Vikings was lead the NFL in rushing yards with 1,760 and earn his first-career First-Team All-Pro selection.

His best season was obviously in 2012, when he was named the NFL MVP after he rushed for over 2,000 yards and helped lead Minnesota back to the playoffs.

Peterson's career with the Vikings ended after the 2016 season, and he left as the franchise's all-time leader in rushing yards, rushing attempts, and rushing touchdowns.