The Minnesota Vikings entered the 2023 NFL season as a team that many thought was a front-runner to win the NFC North. Through two weeks, those expectations have changed. Now, they are 0-2 and many are hitting the panic button.
During the offseason, the Vikings made the decision to move on from longtime star running back Dalvin Cook. It was a move that surprised many, especially since they didn’t make a move for a new running back. Minnesota decided to roll with Alexander Mattison, who had shown flashes of big-time potential as Cook’s backup.
Unfortunately, things have not gone so well for Mattison as the new starter. Through two games, he has racked up just 62 yards and no touchdowns on 19 carries. Those numbers aren’t going to get the job done.
Due to the rough start for the Vikings’ running game, they are being urged to make a move. Leonard Fournette is a name that is becoming a potential candidate to come in and provide more firepower on the ground.
“Signing Leonard Fournette can change the dynamic in Minnesota and help Kevin O’Connell get his team back on track this season. Fournette can shoulder the tough carries and not put the ball on the rug like Mattison.”
Fournette was a huge piece for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the last few years. He was able to put up solid and consistent production to take pressure off of Tom Brady and the passing game.
Last season with the Bucs, Fournette carried the football 189 times for 668 yards and three touchdowns. Back in 2021, he compiled 812 yards and eight touchdowns on 180 carries.
Those numbers are not “superstar” caliber production, but they are solid. The Vikings would certainly like to have a running back who can pick up tough yardage and take care of the football. Fournette could be exactly what the doctor ordered and give Mattison the ability to go back to being the lightning aspect of a thunder and lightning backfield.
All of that being said, the Vikings may not choose to address the running back position just yet. They have remained confident that the season will turn around. If they believe completely in Mattison, this likely won’t happen, but another bad week on the ground and the Vikings should strongly consider signing Leonard Fournette.