Minnesota Vikings Make a Bold Move to Address Rushing Woes

The Minnesota Vikings recently took a proactive approach to address their struggles in the running game. In an effort to bolster their rushing attack, the Vikings acquired running back Cam Akers from the Los Angeles Rams. The deal, pending a physical, also includes a swap of draft picks in 2026. Additionally, the Vikings will receive a conditional seventh-round pick while the Rams will obtain a conditional sixth-rounder.

The Vikings have had a lackluster start to the season, particularly in their rushing offense. With a meager 69 rushing yards, they currently have the lowest rushing total in the NFL. This disappointing performance led the team to part ways with former starter Dalvin Cook and replace him with Alexander Mattison. However, the change did not yield the desired results, as the Vikings have only attempted 23 carries by running backs. Instead, they rely heavily on their passing game, which has accumulated the second-most yards in the league (674).

Coach Kevin O’Connell emphasized the need for a more reliable and efficient running game. In an attempt to bolster their offensive line, the Vikings recently signed free agent guard Dalton Risner. The team hopes that Risner’s addition will help solidify the line and open up opportunities for the running backs. With the acquisition of Cam Akers, the Vikings are doubling down on their commitment to improve their rushing attack.

The deal to acquire Akers also marks a reunion between him, O’Connell, and Vikings offensive coordinator Wes Phillips. All three were previously part of the Rams organization during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. This familiarity may prove beneficial for Akers as he integrates into the Vikings’ offensive system.

The Vikings have been in search of depth behind Mattison since backup Kene Nwangwu suffered a back injury during training camp. With Nwangwu placed on injured reserve, the Vikings brought in free agent Kareem Hunt for a visit in August. They also signed veteran Myles Gaskin after he was released by the Miami Dolphins. However, it remains uncertain whether Akers will immediately replace Ty Chandler as Mattison’s backup, or if the team will ease him into the role.

For Akers, this trade puts an end to a tumultuous period with the Rams. Coach Sean McVay deactivated Akers in their previous game, citing it as a “coach’s decision” and in the best interest of the team. Akers took to social media to express his confusion over the situation. However, McVay maintains that the reasoning behind the decision was clearly communicated to Akers and his agent. This incident adds to a history of concerns surrounding Akers’ performance and urgency, as highlighted by McVay in past comments.

With this trade, the Vikings are taking a proactive approach to address their struggling rushing offense. By acquiring Cam Akers, they hope to inject new life and talent into their backfield. The familiarity between Akers, O’Connell, and Phillips may aid in a smoother transition. However, only time will tell if this move will have the desired impact on the Vikings’ running game as they continue their pursuit of success in the 2022 NFL season.

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