The Departure of Running Back Alexander Mattison from the Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings made a surprising decision to release running back Alexander Mattison after five seasons with the team. This move came after a disappointing year for Mattison, who struggled to hold down the starting job following the departure of longtime lead back Dalvin Cook. Despite hopes that Mattison could provide strong inside running, he only managed 700 rushing yards in 13 games started. His performance was lackluster, as none of his 180 carries went for longer than 21 yards and he failed to score on the ground.

After two games, the Vikings acquired veteran Cam Akers from the Los Angeles Rams to increase their running back depth. However, Akers suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury on November 5, forcing the Vikings to turn to second-year runner Ty Chandler to replace Mattison in the starting lineup for the final four games of the regular season. Despite Mattison’s underwhelming performance, coach Kevin O’Connell mentioned that Mattison had contributed in ways that would not be captured by statistics. O’Connell also highlighted Chandler’s performance at the end of the season as a positive sign for the team’s future.

While the Vikings save $3.35 million against their 2024 cap by releasing Mattison, they are likely to seek additional depth at the running back position in free agency and the draft. O’Connell acknowledged the need to infuse talent and different skill sets into the running back room to improve the team’s overall performance. Despite Mattison’s departure, the Vikings remain optimistic about the potential for growth and development within the running back group.

During his five seasons with the Vikings, Mattison averaged 4.1 yards per carry while rushing for 2,370 yards on 584 attempts, with 11 touchdowns. He also contributed in the passing game, catching 100 passes for 718 yards and scoring six touchdowns. While Mattison’s numbers may not have been outstanding, his impact on the team went beyond the stat sheet. O’Connell recognized Mattison’s efforts and contributions to the team, despite the decision to release him.

The Minnesota Vikings’ decision to release Alexander Mattison marks the end of an era for the running back. With plans to seek additional talent at the position, the Vikings are looking towards the future and the potential for growth within their running back group. As they move forward, they will reflect on Mattison’s contributions and look to build upon them in the seasons to come.


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