Recently, the Minnesota Vikings made the shocking move of cutting Dalvin Cook from their roster. Cook has made four straight trips to the Pro Bowl and has not suffered any major injuries that have caused his performance to take a hit. With him still being one of the top backs in the league, many could not rationalize the Vikings letting him go.
With Cook now gone from the team, the bulk of the rushing attack will be placed on the shoulders of Alexander Mattison. Mattison joined the team as the 102nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Since then, he has served as one of the top backups the league has to offer at the running back position.
In his four seasons with the team, he has ran for 1670 yards and 11 touchdowns while pulling in 70 passes for 526 yards and three touchdowns. As a result of Cook being in good health since Mattison was drafted, he has only gotten the chance to start in six of the 59 games that he has played in.
In those six starts, Mattison has ran for 447 yards while averaging 4.08 yards per carry. Along with this, he has accounted for three touchdowns on the ground in his six career starts. In the passing game as a starter, Mattison has made 23 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
While these are not convincing enough stats to move on from a running back like Cook, Mattison has not gotten the chance to start since the 2021 season. Along with this, there is a strong chance that the Vikings’ offensive scheme is much different than it was last year.
With Justin Jefferson emerging as arguably the best receiver in all of football, it would not be a stretch to believe that Minnesota will be a pass-dominant offense in the 2023 season. As a result of this, a top back like Cook would be unnecessary and a back that thrives in the passing game like Mattison would be a better fit.
Along with this, Mattison has been very impressive both as a starter and a backup option. While he likely will not make a Pro Bowl appearance, he will be a very solid starter for the Vikings this season and could be poised for a breakout year.
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