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Backup Expected to Have Starting Role in the Vikings' Offense: Report

Photo: Hannah Foslien

Minnesota Vikings backup running back Alexander Mattison is reportedly expected to have a starting role in 2023 amid the team's plans to move on from Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook, according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert.

"All indications are that O'Connell would use Mattison as an every-down back, similar to last season when Cook received 74% of the carries. O'Connell, in fact, offered up his 'three-down' assessment last week when asked a general question about the state of the running back position," Seifert wrote.

Mattison was re-signed with the Vikings as part of a two-year deal with $6.35 million guaranteed this offseason, which Seifert said "would be awfully pricy for a backup." Additionally, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has spoken in neutral terms while addressing Cook's future with the franchise, declining to confirm whether the Pro Bowler would be on the Vikings' roster during the upcoming season.

Mattison recorded 283 yards and five touchdowns on 74 rushing attempts, as well as 15 receptions for 91 yards and one touchdown while playing behind Cook in all 17 games during the 2022 season. The former Boise State standout recorded 491 yards and three touchdowns on 134 rushing attempts, as well as 32 receptions for 228 yards and one touchdown during the 2021 season, which included making four starts in 16 games as Cook was limited to 13 games due to injuries.

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