McKinnon will be joined by free-agent signing Latavius Murray in the Minnesota backfield, 1500 ESPN Twin Cities reports. After managing just 3.4 yards per carry in Adrian Peterson's absence last season, McKinnon had to know the team would bring in serious competition even if it chose not to keep Peterson around. Murray isn't the most talented runner, but he does offer versatility and has a better track record than McKinnon. The Vikings could still further upgrade their backfield through the upcoming draft, potentially giving McKinnon competition from multiple sources as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. Murray is the clear favorite to handle the lead back job.
McKinnon ran 16 times for 89 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's game against the Bears. He also caught three of four targets for an additional 21 yards and a score in the 38-10 win. McKinnon managed just under five yards per carry and his running helped salt the game away after the team jumped out to an early lead. He opened the scoring with a 16-yard catch in the first quarter and found the end zone again on a one-yard conversion in the fourth. McKinnon showed flashes this season but was somewhat inefficient with an average of just 3.4 yards per carry and four total touchdowns. The Vikings will get Adrian Peterson back and presumably healthy next season, but McKinnon should again be in line to serve as the team's top backup.
McKinnon rushed 11 times for 50 yards and caught five of six targets for 35 yards Saturday against the Packers. With Adrian Peterson (knee/groin) again sidelined, McKinnon operated as the Vikings' lead back Saturday, out-touching backfield complement Matt Asiata 16 to 9. However, there ultimately weren't many carries to go around with the Vikings playing in catch-up mode most of the day. McKinnon should find easier sledding next week against the Bears when the game script will likely be more conducive to an emphasis on running the ball.
With teammate Adrian Peterson (knee/groin) ruled out, McKinnon is in line to start at running back Saturday against the Packers. McKinnon occupying Minnesota's starting role is nothing new, as Peterson has appeared in just three games this season, but the third-year pro has struggled in the spotlight, gaining just 400 yards and managing one rushing touchdown on his 132 carries thus far. Considering Matt Asiata's presence, McKinnon's fantasy stock is further plagued by him splitting snaps in Peterson's absence.
McKinnon had three carries for 12 yards and nine receptions for 59 yards in Sunday's loss to Indianapolis. McKinnon played 34 snaps on offense compared to 12 snaps for Matt Asiata and 12 for Adrian Peterson. It's likely that Peterson will get more snaps next week against Green Bay, but McKinnon likely got a larger workload with the Vikings falling behind early. McKinnon should still get work as the team's third-down and receiving back. However, his role may sharply decline the next two games with Peterson back from a knee injury.
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