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RB Jerick McKinnon - Minnesota Vikings

5-9, 209Born: 5-3-1992College: Georgia SouthernDrafted: Round 3

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Photo: Matt Marton, US Presswire

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News you need to know

General News (Mon Jan 22): said he would like to be a featured back for a team next season.

Week 21: bye week

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 vs CHI 44 12 44 0 1 0 0 0 0 4.4
19 vs NO 44 8 34 1 4 3 6 0 0 10
20 at PHI 0 10 40 0 12 11 86 0 0 12.6

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 20 vs PHI (10 / 40 / 0 rush, 12 / 11 / 86 / 0 rec)

This was one of the only games where McKinnon had more rushing attempts than any other running back. This was because he was the only back to have any success on the ground. McKinnon lead the team with 21 total touches and had more rushing and receiving yards than anyone else. He broke a 10-yard rush off the end for the only explosive play on the ground and had a 13-yard catch and run for a first down to keep a Viking drive alive. McKinnon has long since been relegated to the change of pace and 3rd down back in Minnesota but may find himself in the conversation as the second back next season. This was not the end to the season that the Vikings wanted, but McKinnon sure added to his value heading into next season with his performance.

2017 Week 19 vs NO (8 / 34 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 6 / 0 rec)

McKinnon had a very similar day to Murray and was really unable to get much going on the ground. He did score the first touchdown of the game for the Vikings with a 14-yard scamper off the left end. He was able to outrun the entire Saints defense and was untouched on his way to the end zone. McKinnon has always been the change of pace back to Murray, but neither could find much success. McKinnon did average 4.3 yards per carry to lead all running backs, but he was not given enough volume to really make a difference. Murray had 21 touches and McKinnon was only given 11. This has been par for the course all season long for the Vikings and will most likely continue through the rest of the playoffs.

2017 Week 17 vs CHI (12 / 44 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The success of the run game was the story of this game, but that did not have a lot to do with McKinnon this week. Murray was having so much success that the Vikings did not need to use McKinnon as much. McKinnon had success on only 1 run with a 14-yard burst but was largely contained outside of that. He had 1 target in the passing game but was unable to haul in the catch. With a week off to rest and game plan, McKinnon will be healthy and ready to take on whichever team wins the wild card round. Look for an expanded role throughout the playoffs as the Vikings look to keep their balanced attack.

2017 Week 16 vs GB (7 / 42 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)

This was a tough game for Viking running backs as a whole, but McKinnon may have been the lone bright spot in his limited duty. McKinnon averaged 6 yards per carry, but the Vikings still did not increase his usage this week. McKinnon had the longest running play for the Viking as well with a 17-yard scamper down the sideline to help set up a field goal for the Vikings. McKinnon was not used nearly as much in the passing game as he only saw 2 targets and caught 1 for 9 yards. The Vikings have a two-headed rushing attack that they have moved away from in recent weeks. McKinnon seems to be being rested down the stretch, but the Vikings will need him as the playoffs approach.

2017 Week 15 vs CIN (9 / 24 / 0 rush, 8 / 7 / 114 / 0 rec)

McKinnon seems to be fading towards the end of the season in the rushing department. He received 9 carries to Murray's 20 but played a major part in the passing attack against the Bengals. McKinnon was the only Viking receiver to surpass 100 yards and also lead the team in targets and receptions. The biggest play of the day came on his 41-yard catch and run down the sideline. After outrunning the linebacker in coverage, McKinnon did not have anyone in front of him and was able to scamper down the sideline until a safety was able to come over and make the stop. McKinnon seems to have taken to his role very well in recent weeks and has made the best of the passing opportunities given him.

2017 Week 14 vs CAR (7 / 46 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)

The Vikings did not fare very well on the ground at all this week. With 100 total yards on the ground, 40 of which came from quarterback Case Keenum, but McKinnon and Murray had rough days. On the bright side, McKinnon did lead the team with 46 rushing yards, averaged 6.6 yards per carry, and even broke off a 17-yard scamper to lead all rushers. However, McKinnon has equally as rough a day through the air and only caught 2 of his 3 targets for 9 yards and was also tackled almost immediately, just like Murray. The Vikings offensive line was manhandled all game and both McKinnon and Murray suffered. McKinnon definitely had the better day, but that is not saying much as he only managed 6 more yards than a non-running quarterback. Look for a better showing next week at home against the Bengals.

2017 Week 13 vs ATL (9 / 24 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 28 / 1 rec)

This was another rough rushing day for McKinnon. He did not surpass 25 yards rushing and only averaged 2.7 yards per carry when he did touch the ball. The only saving grace was the 2-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. McKinnon was able to use Kyle Rudolph as a rub for his linebacker in coverage and a rolling Case Keenum found him all alone in the end zone for the first Vikings touchdown. The best part of the highlight was he capped the touchdown with the old Atlanta 'dirty bird' celebration as a throwback to the city he grew up in. Thankfully this did not serve as motivation for the Falcons and the Vikings managed to walk away with the win.

2017 Week 12 vs DET (13 / 23 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 31 / 0 rec)

This was not the best game for McKinnon as he averaged 1.8 yards per carry and had 4 carries that he lost a total of 15 yards on. This offsets his efforts on the first drive of the second half where he followed a 46-yard run by Latavius Murray with runs of 11 and 16 yards to set up a Vikings touchdown. McKinnon also had issues with ball security as he appeared to fumble after his 31-yard catch and run. The ball was recovered by Adam Thielen in the end zone but the call was overturned after review as his knee was down before the fumble. McKinnon and Murray have had similar workloads for most of the season, but McKinnon appears to be fading in the rushing department. The Vikings do not have much depth behind McKinnon and he will continue to get more work than Murray in passing situations.

2017 Week 11 vs LAR (14 / 48 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 12 / 0 rec)

McKinnon struggled to get going in this game on the ground as his longest carry on the day was just nine yards. McKinnon was still on the field for 62% of the snaps as his pass catching ability is still extremely valuable to this team. McKinnon caught five passes out of the backfield and most of them were check-downs including two which went for negative seven yards. At times, McKinnon tried to make a big play instead of taking what the defense gave to him and against a quick defense ended up hurting him as the plays went for negative yards as he had four plays on the day that went for negative yardage.

2017 Week 10 vs WAS (10 / 32 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)

It has been a back and forth affair with Murray and McKinnon all season, but there seems to be more of a pattern developing lately. McKinnon is clearly the better pass catching back and plays a role on special teams, while Murray is used in more power and rushing situations. McKinnon averaged 3.2 yards per carry and had almost a third of his yards come on one carry. It has been a struggle in the Viking's backfield since Adrian Peterson left, but there seem to be more clear and defined roles for McKinnon and Murray now. Despite the gaudy passing numbers for Keenum, McKinnon only had 2 targets and was used very sparingly in the passing game. It will be interesting to see if the Viking's success throwing the ball this week opens anything up on the ground next week.

2017 Week 8 vs CLE (14 / 50 / 1 rush, 10 / 6 / 72 / 0 rec)

Despite receiving fewer touches and coming off the bench today, McKinnon was the most effective Viking's running back. That is not saying much as he only averaged 3.6 yards per carry to Murray's 2.1, and had the same 10-yard rush as a long. McKinnon took his 10-yard rush right up the middle of the defense rather than off tackle. McKinnon's biggest contribution came in the second half with a 1-yard rushing touchdown off the right tackle and then a successful 2-point conversion. McKinnon was also the second-leading receiver for the Vikings in London and tied for the team lead with 10 total targets. This was not the best offensive game for the Vikings, but McKinnon still showed he is the most versatile running back. The coaching staff seems to be a week behind in picking their starting running back. Murray may have been the better back last week, but it was McKinnon that deserved the start today.

2017 Week 7 vs BAL (14 / 47 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 10 / 0 rec)

After earning the starting job with his recent performance, McKinnon was outplayed by Latavius Murray this week. The overall number of touches was almost identical at 17-18 favoring Murray, but McKinnon was unable to break the big play. Jerick still has the upper hand in the passing game and outpaced Murray 3-0. The brightest note for McKinnon today was not fumbling the ball today. This is an issue that has popped up since taking over as a starter but was kept in check today. McKinnon showed a greater ball security today, keeping the ball in tight and switching to the proper arm when changing sides of the field. It will be interesting to see who gets the starting nod next week, but the touch distribution is still expected to be about even. Zimmer was quoted saying they will ride the hot hand and it only takes one play for the explosive McKinnon to make the defense pay.

2017 Week 6 vs GB (16 / 69 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 30 / 1 rec)

This was another all-around good game for McKinnon as he scored on both the ground and through the air today. However, ball security is starting to become an issue. For a running back that did not fumble once in college, he is starting to show some very poor habits in the NFL in how he carries the ball. Today's fumble was picked up by Clay Matthews and returned 63-yards. This is a theme that will need to be addressed if McKinnon wants to continue to be the starter. The first touchdown came on a 27-yard screen play where McKinnon was able to outrun the first line of defense and then follow his blockers all the way down the sideline and into the end zone. The second touchdown came on a 3-yard draw play and was upheld by video review after it looked like his knee may have touched before crossing the goal line. McKinnon has clearly passed Latavius Murray on the depth chart at this point and if he can fix his fumbling issues he may see his workload increase even more.

2017 Week 5 vs CHI (16 / 95 / 1 rush, 6 / 6 / 51 / 0 rec)

McKinnon appeared to be the only Viking that truly showed up on the offensive side of the ball and contributed to all aspects of the game. McKinnon rushed and caught the ball out of the backfield as well as returned kickoffs. McKinnon played with a reckless abandon for his body tonight and was hit hard by the Bears defense. There were several occasions where it looked like he might be knocked out of the game and merely bounced back up and returned to the huddle. McKinnon lead the team in both rushing and receiving and added a 58-yard rush off the right end for a touchdown to put the Vikings up 17-9. McKinnon out touched Murray for the game and may even be in line for the start next week after this performance.


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