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RB Latavius Murray - Minnesota Vikings

6-3, 230Born: 2-21-1991College: UCFDrafted: Round 6

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Photo: Mark Konezny, US Presswire

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 vs CHI 31 20 111 2 1 1 3 0 0 23.4
19 vs NO 36 19 50 1 2 2 17 0 0 12.7
20 at PHI 0 6 18 0 2 2 11 0 0 2.9

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 20 vs PHI (6 / 18 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)

After losing Dalvin Cook, the Vikings have struggled to run the ball. However, this has not stopped them from having the second most rush attempts in the NFL. This is a formula the Vikings did not get to employ this week as they were playing from behind for the majority of the game. Murray looked good on the first drive and even started the game with a 6-yard rush right up the middle. It was all downhill from there as he was only given 5 more carries and could not even break 20 yards on the ground. He was used very sparingly in the passing game with 2 catches but that was par for the course as he only had 18 catches all season. Minnesota's game plan was disrupted early, and Murray was not used nearly as much as he has been in recent weeks. When Dalvin Cook comes back next season it will be a very crowded backfield and it will be interesting to see which running back is on the outside looking in.

2017 Week 19 vs NO (19 / 50 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)

If there was 1 weakness to this new and improved Saints defense, it was the running game. The Vikings had a comfortable lead going into the second half and tried to exploit this weakness to no avail. Murray had 19 carries but only averaged 2.6 yards per carry. He was often met in the backfield and could barely get past the line of scrimmage. He did have a 13-yard touchdown run nullified by a holding penalty, but he was still able to cash in from the 1-yard line later on that same drive. Murray's touchdown run was pure power running up the middle and capped off a drive aided by over 50 yards in pass interference calls on the Saints. Murray was largely ineffective in the second half and this allowed the Saints to fight back and take a late lead. Murray was used sparingly in the passing game and managed 13 of his 17 receiving yards on a single play. Murray will have to play better next week if the Vikings want to beat the Eagles and advance to the Super Bowl.

2017 Week 17 vs CHI (20 / 111 / 2 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)

The entire offense went through Murray this week as he rushed for over 100 yards and added 2 scores on the ground. Both touchdown runs were of the 1-yard variety and were pure power running up the middle. His longest run of the game was a 22-yard scamper off tackle and he finished the day with a 5.6 yards per carry average. Murray added 1 catch for 3 yards but was not needed in the passing game. Murray out-touched McKinnon 21 to 13 this week and will lead the charge in the playoffs.

2017 Week 16 vs GB (21 / 69 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)

The pecking order in the Minnesota backfield has come in to focus the final few weeks of the year. Despite the hot start from McKinnon, Murray finally looks healthy and has taken over. Murray out touched McKinnon 22 to 8 this week as the Vikings tried to go to a power run game in the cold. Murray did not find a lot of success against a Packers defense that stacked the box on almost every play and he averaged 3.3 yards per carry. The Packers defense wanted to make Case Keenum beat them and brought the house to stop Murray. His longest run of the day was a 14-yard burst off the right tackle and he added 1 catch for 8 yards in the passing game. The Viking run game should get a boost next week against the Bears at home.

2017 Week 15 vs CIN (20 / 76 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 28 / 0 rec)

The run game has been hot and cold all season since Dalvin Cook went down, but Murray seems to have taken the reins and is leading the way. He still loses touches in the passing game to Jerick McKinnon, but he is the clear lead back in regard to rushing attempts. Murray set a season-high with 20 rushing attempts this week and chipped in a touchdown for good measure. The touchdown was a 1-yard plunge after the Vikings quickly moved down the field with 3 plays of 20+ yards. Murray's longest rush was a 14-yard scamper off the right end to help set up another scoring drive and he also chipped in a 28-yard reception on the first drive of the game to help set up his own touchdown run. Murray eclipsed 100 total yards for only the third time this season but has been a solid contributor to this point. The Vikings rushing attack is going to continue to go through Murray for the final 2 games of the regular season and through the playoffs.

2017 Week 14 vs CAR (9 / 14 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)

Murray was given the start this week and was unable to do much of anything on the ground. Both Jerick McKinnon and Case Keenum had more rushing yards than Murray. Of the 14 yards that Murray managed on the ground, 11 came on one play, and the other 8 carries went almost nowhere. He also was unable to do anything with his 2 catches as he only managed 6 yards through the air and was tackled almost immediately every time he touched the ball. Murray had outplayed McKinnon, for the most part, this season, but this simply was not one of those games. Carolina clearly game planned to take Murray away and challenged Keenum to beat them through the air. Murray will get the chance to bounce back next week against a banged-up Cincinnati defense, before wrapping up the season against divisional opponents.

2017 Week 13 vs ATL (16 / 76 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)

Murray was given the start for the Vikings again this week and had the better day as well. He was given 7 more carries and only has 2 fewer receptions than Jerick McKinnon this week. The gap between the two backs is becoming more distinct and Murray is making the best of it. Murray had the longest play for the Vikings on the day when he took the ball up the middle, broke a tackle, and rumbled 30 yards downfield before being tackled at the 2-yard line. This set up a McKinnon receiving touchdown and gave the Vikings their first lead of the day. Murray averaged 4.8 yards per carry and continues to look like the best running back in Minnesota.

2017 Week 12 vs DET (20 / 84 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Murray continues to work as the lead back for the Minnesota offense, especially in the rushing and goal to go situations. The Vikings did not have a lot of success on the ground outside of Murray and no other runner surpassed 25 yards on the day. The Vikings best rushing drive came at the start of the third quarter when Murray and McKinnon took them 65 yards on 4 plays for a touchdown. Murray did most of the heavy lifting with a 46-yard burst right up the middle and then another 2-yard plunge up the middle for a touchdown. The first run showcased his speed and vision to cut back across the open field and the second was a pure power run up the middle. Murray was targeted once in the passing game but was unable to bring in the attempt. The Vikings run game is very one-dimensional for Murray as he is only used in primarily running situations.

2017 Week 11 vs LAR (15 / 95 / 2 rush, 2 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)

Latavius Murray showed a burst that we have not seen much this season. Murray has just four carries greater than 20 yards and two of them came in this game as he had a 34-yard carry on a play that was masterfully blocked by the offensive line and once Murray got into open space he continued to cut inside and out to gain extra yards before being brought down by LaMarcus Joyner. Murray's second carry was a play in while it looked like a simple off-tackle run was actually a masterful play design by offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. The play actually had two holes for Murray to run to one on the left side and one on the right side and Shurmur kept the defense honest by bringing Stefon Diggs as a lead blocker into the other hole. Outside of these two runs, Murray continued to be his usual self as he utilized his power to pick up a few yards each time he touched the ball and did find himself with two goal-line touchdowns in this game.

2017 Week 10 vs WAS (17 / 68 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The Vikings run game looked amazing at the start of the game. Both Murray and McKinnon were ripping off nice chunks of yards and Murray even found the end zone. This is when the Washington game plan switched to stacking the box to stop the run and making Case Keenum beat them with his arm. Unfortunately for Washington, Keenum did just that but Murray's numbers suffered from that point on. Aside from his 14-yard rush to set up a 1-yard touchdown pass and his 1-yard touchdown run, Murray could not get anything going on the ground. Murray was also not targeted in the passing game at all today and saw a 1-yard touchdown go to David Morgan through the air later in the game. Murray seems entrenched as the starter and had 7 more carries than McKinnon today. 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 (19 / 39 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)

After leading the team in rushing last week, Murray was given the start in the backfield today. He was also given more carries than Jerick McKinnon but was unable to do anything with them. Murray averaged 2.1 yards per carry and could not capitalize on the additional touches. His longest run of the day came on a 10-yard off tackle carry. Murray was also given multiple opportunities in the red zone and goal to go situations. Today was not all Murray's fault as he was often greeted by a Cleveland defender in the backfield and the Viking's offensive line was not opening holes for any running back. It will be interesting to see which back gets the start after the Bye week and who will get more touches.

2017 Week 7 vs BAL (18 / 113 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Jerick McKinnon was given the start this week, but Murray was the most effective running back for Minnesota this week. Murray topped 100-yards for the first time as the Viking and scored the Vikings lone touchdown. Murray was given only 4 more carries than McKinnon but was able to do plenty of damage. The big play came on a 33-yard scamper right up the middle where Latavius was barely even touched by a Ravens' defender. Murray was not used in the passing game today and was outpaced by McKinnon with 3 catches. Both running backs are making things difficult for the Vikings' depth chart as each has had a big game in recent weeks. Vikings' head coach Mike Zimmer stated they would ride the hot hand going forward. With the often-windy conditions in Cleveland, the Vikings will rely heavily on the run game again next week.

2017 Week 6 vs GB (15 / 28 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)

This is now the second time that Murray has been passed on the depth chart and the Vikings are kicking themselves for giving him so much money in the offseason. Murray has not been effective on the ground whatsoever and averaged under 2 yards per carry against the Packers today. His lone big play came on a 10-yard run off tackle where he burst through the second level and was upended by the safety. This one play accounted for almost half of his yards on the day, leaving him to gain 18-yards on 14 carries the rest of the way. The Vikings did try to feed him the ball on goal to go situations but Murray was swallowed at the line by a weak Packers front. The Vikings recently brought in Steven Ridley and this could further cut into his touches per game for the rest of the season.

2017 Week 5 vs CHI (12 / 31 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)

After losing the starting job to Dalvin Cook, this was supposed to be the week that Murray re-established himself in the Vikings offense. Unfortunately, Murray disappointed again and was outperformed by Jerick McKinnon. Murray was given every chance early in the game to establish himself but only carried to the tune of 2.6 yards per carry. Murray's most effective play came on an 8-yard scamper off guard on the Vikings first drive of the game. Murray is going to need to do a lot more if he wants to remain the starter and if today was any indication he was already passed by McKinnon in the second half for that role.

2017 Week 4 vs DET (7 / 21 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 8 / 0 rec)

With Dalvin Cook potentially out for the season, Latavius Murray will be the next man up for the Vikings. The former Raider was brought in to be the starter until the Vikings took Cook early in the second round. Through the first 3 games, Murray has only had 7 carries and he matched that again today after Cook left. The workload is still expected to be split between Murray and Jerick McKinnon with a slight edge going to Murray. After Cook went down the rest of the Vikings rushing attack managed a combined 21-yards. With a struggling offensive line and inconsistent quarterback play, it is going to be tough for Murray to succeed. However, if this injury ends Cook's season it will be Murray that gets the bulk of the carries the rest of the way.

2017 Week 3 vs TB (2 / 5 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Murray has all but lost his perceived starting job to Dalvin Cook. The Vikings brought in the free agent in as a bridge to whichever running back they drafted for the future, but the future is now. Murray has seen his workload dwindle as he never truly came back from his offseason surgery. Unless Cook begins to falter late in the season Murray is not going to see the field very much.

2017 Week 1 vs NO (2 / 6 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Murray watched from the sideline as Dalvin Cook took control of the lead running back role for Minnesota. On his first carry of the night the former Raider fumbled, recovered by the Vikings, and only saw one more carry for the rest of the game. Murray appears to have not shaken off the rust from his injury, but will most likely see his workload diminish even further as Cook gets established.


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