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RB Latavius Murray - New Orleans Saints

6-3, 230Born: 2-21-1991College: UCFDrafted: Round 6, pick 2013

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Photo: Mark Konezny, US Presswire

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News you need to know

General News (Fri Feb 1): could be a free-agent target of the Philadelphia Eagles, in the opinion of NJ.com's Zack Rosenblatt, who believes Murray's abilities as a receiver and reasonable price tag could make him part of a timeshare with holdover Josh Adams.

Week 21: bye week

All RB vs

Recent Stats and Projections

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17 vs CHI 4 2 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.8

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

Latavius Murray's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2018 Week 17 vs CHI (2 / 18 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The Vikings did not commit to running Cook, let alone give Murray any carries. This may have been one of their bigger mistakes as Murray had the longest play from scrimmage for the Vikings this week. He ripped off a 20-yard run to help setup the lone touchdown for the Vikings. His only other carry went for -2 yards, but it is baffling they did not try and use him more after he found the only success on the ground. Murray was not targeted at all in the passing game and only had the 2 total touches. It has been a frustrating season for Murray and there is a good chance he is in a different uniform to start next season.

2018 Week 16 vs DET (9 / 22 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)

It was not a banner day for the Viking rushing offense this week. They combined for 28 carries and 100 total yards, with Murray accounting for about 1/5 of those yards. He had 9 carries to 16 for Cook and 11 of his 22 yards came on a single rush. Murray also caught both of his targets in the passing game but did not add much in regard to yards. There has been a bigger split between Murray and Cook in recent weeks and Murray has faded into a distant second on the team. He still seems to be the trusted back in short yardage situations, but even that role seems to be going to Cook in recent weeks. He has a tough draw against the Bears next week and would be highly touchdown dependent.

2018 Week 15 vs MIA (15 / 68 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

It can be tough to have enough carries to go around, especially when the lead back is hot, and the team has not featured the run all season. However, that was not the case this week as Murray still had 15 carries and scored a touchdown. He averaged a little over 4.5 yards per carry and still looks to be the go to back in short yardage situations. Murray seems to have an increased role in the new Viking offense, but it is a very small sample size so far. His biggest play was an 18-yard rush off tackle for the touchdown. He was not touched until well into the secondary and all that required was a stiff arm to a diving defender. Murray showcased his speed and vision on the impressive touchdown run. This put the Vikings up 21-0 at the time and they never looked back.

2018 Week 14 vs SEA (3 / 4 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Murray was a complete nonfactor this week for the Vikings. He only received 3 carries and came up short in the one spot they really needed him. Murray's name was called on a 4th and 1 play in Seattle territory, but he was stopped short of the line to gain. Maybe this play is what caused the Vikings to not run the ball on the 1-yard line later in the game. Murray has seen a decline in carries since Cook came back but the Vikings also are not committed to running the ball at all. Look for Murray to sign elsewhere in the off season where he will get used more.

2018 Week 13 vs NE (4 / 11 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 3 / 0 rec)

It was not a very involved game for Murray. He was given 4 carries and 2 receptions. For comparison, Cook had 9 carries and 10 targets. Murray was never really given a chance to get going with the Vikings playing from behind in the second half. There is a good chance that Murray is no longer part of the Vikings next season, but he needs more opportunity to establish value. His longest run was 5 yards and his longest catch was 2. There was no room for Murray to run this week and the game plan for the Vikings did not help with that. Seattle has been softer against the run than recent seasons, but Murray will still need to have his number called more to make a difference.

2018 Week 12 vs GB (11 / 33 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The return of Cook was always going to cut into the production of Murray, but he is still the trusted back in crunch time. Murray has a better history of ball security and was used more late in the game when trying to run out the clock. Cook may have been the big play style back, but Murray got the tough yards and helped to kill the clock and get the win this week. Murray was given 1 more carry than Cook and ended up averaging 3 yards per carry. The Vikings scored from 26, 30, and 14 yards out and did not have any goal to go situations to use Murray for short yardage this week. He did not have a single target in the passing game as those situations went to Cook. The Vikings are still trying to strike a balance between running and passing the ball and a lot of that will start by establishing a split between Murray and Cook. Murray remains highly touchdown dependent but is still seeing a fair amount of work for the Vikings.

2018 Week 11 vs CHI (4 / 5 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

It is tough being the secondary back on a team, it is even worse when that team stops running the ball in a game. Murray filled in admirably while Cook was out, but he has been relegated back to being a backup. There was a chance he would get the ball a little more after the costly Cook fumble, but Murray was just as ineffective. He would hit a wall of defenders every time he got a chance and only broke through the line once for a 6-yard carry. His other 3 carries had a net -1 yards and the team only managed 22 yards total. Murray was not targeted in the passing game and it was an all-around rough day for the Minnesota backfield.

2018 Week 9 vs DET (10 / 31 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)

The first drive of the game looked like it was going to be business as usual for Murray. He had established himself in the last 3 weeks with Cook out, but that changed this week. Murray got the goal line carry and touchdown, but it was not without controversy. It appeared as if Murray had tried to reach the ball over the goal line and fumbled. Kyle Rudolph fell on the ball and was given the initial touchdown call. The play was reviewed after the fact and Murray ended up getting credit for the touchdown. He had the same number of carries as Cook but was not used in the passing game nearly as much. If you take out the long run by Cook, each back had about the same yards per carry and just could not find a lot of success by a beat up offensive line. Murray is going to see his touches decrease each week as Cook gets healthier and takes over the lead back role. He will still be used in goal line situations and to occasionally spell Cook, but Murray will not see lead back numbers for the rest of the season.

2018 Week 8 vs NO (13 / 56 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 39 / 0 rec)

With Cook ruled out for another week, Murray was given lead back duties again this week. However, in an interesting move by the Vikings, 6 different players had a rushing attempt against New Orleans. Murray was the only back to find sustained success. His 13 carries were 10 more than any other back but fewer than he has averaged in the last 2 games. A lot of this had to do with game script as the Vikings played from behind the entire second half. New Orleans came in as the second-best rush defense and held the Vikings to 85 total rushing yards as a team. Murray played a much bigger role in the passing game this week as well. His 6 targets trailed only Diggs, Thielen, and Rudolph this week and were a result of Roc Thomas getting injured in the first half. Murray scored a touchdown for the 3rd straight game with his 1-yard plunge in the second quarter. He took the ball in from the 1-yard line by leaping up on to the back of his offensive linemen and reached the ball over the goal line before being pushed back. There is still no clear time line for the return of Cook and until that happens, it is Murray's rushing attack to lead.

2018 Week 7 vs NYJ (15 / 69 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)

The running game has struggled all season outside of Murray taking over for the injured Cook. Murray had the only success on the ground of any running back and punched in 2 touchdowns. The first touchdown was an 11-yard scamper off the right guard and the second was a 38-yard burst off the same right guard. Murray found the majority of his success running off the right side and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Murray has had success the last 2 weeks filling in for Cook. The Vikings have committed more to running him than they have Cook at any point this season and it will be interesting to see the dynamic going forward. It is not a lost season for Cook, but Murray has demanded more attention in the offense. The Saints have struggled on defense through the air so far this season and the running game will not be featured as much.

2018 Week 6 vs ARI (24 / 155 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)

The run game has left something to be desired for the Vikings all season long. They have relied on Kirk Cousins' arm and have not committed to the run at all. That all changed this week when the Vikings got to race the worst rushing defense in the league. Murray was given the start when Cook was ruled out before game time, and then he was actually given the ball. He received 24 carries and 2 targets in the passing game this week and produced his best yardage total as a Viking. He ripped off a long run of 34 yards off tackle and scored the first touchdown of the game running for 21 yards straight up the middle. The talk all week long was that Murray and Cook would split reps this week, but it instead turned into the Latavius Murray show. The Vikings rushed 32 times as a team for 195 yards, both season highs. Murray has proven that he can be an effective back, even behind a banged up offensive line. It will be interesting to see what the Vikings decide to do with the workload next week against the Jets.

2018 Week 5 vs PHI (11 / 42 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)

With Dalvin Cook on the shelf, Murray is the lead back again. However, the Vikings cannot seem to get anything going on the ground. Philadelphia has a very stout rush defense and held the Vikings to under 100 rush yards as a team. Murray was given more carries than anyone else but was unable to do anything with them. He averaged under 4 yards per carry and only had 1 carry over 10 yards. Stefon Diggs had the longest rush for the Vikings this week and that should never happen if the team commits to running the ball. The matchup next week should be ideal for whoever takes the bulk share of the carries. The Cardinals have been very generous to opposing running backs. Murray may be a good play next week if Cook is ruled out again.

2018 Week 4 vs LAR (2 / 2 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)

The Vikings all but abandoned the run game again this week and Murray got almost no chance to run the ball. He had 1 rush attempt of 8 yards wiped out due to a holding call but it would not have done much to make his stat line look any better. The biggest thing to note is how much he played in the second half instead of Cook, and then when they went to Boone and Ham in clear passing downs instead or Murray. There is nothing positive to say about the Vikings rushing attack so far this season, but they have also been playing from behind the past 3 weeks. Murray seems to be the trusted back right now in high pressure situations, but the Vikings want to go with Cook long term. Murray is going to be touchdown dependent from here on out as long as Cook is fully healthy. The biggest play he made was a two-point conversion to bring the score within 3 after a long touchdown to Adam Thielen.

2018 Week 3 vs BUF (2 / 1 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 30 / 0 rec)

This was supposed to be Murrays chance to prove that he still had something left in the tank and could be a starter somewhere in the NFL. Unfortunately, the game script ruined that, and Murray only rushed 2 times the entire game. The entire Vikings rush offense only ran the ball 6 times as they trailed the entire game. Murray played a small role in the passing game despite being targeted 7 times. One of those fateful targets resulted in an interception. Cousins checked the ball down to Murray who had leaked out of the back field. The ball hit him right in the chest, but so did the middle linebackers for Buffalo. The ball shot up in the air and was intercepted by a diving defender. This play was by no fault of Murray or even Cousins, but rather a great defensive play by the Bills. Dalvin Cook is expected to play next week against the Rams and it looks like it will be a short tenure for Murray as the Vikings starter this week. If Cook's hamstring still bothers him and he is unable to go, Murray still is not a great play against a Rams defense the boasts one of the best lines in the NFL.

2018 Week 2 vs GB (4 / 19 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

It is hard to get anything going with only 4 carries, but Murray found the most room to run and averaged just under 5 yards per carry. It was Murray that the Vikings trusted in overtime to setup the game winning field goal attempt and not Cook. Murray ripped off a 9 and then 4-yard rush to set the Vikings up on the 17-yard line for that fateful kick. He was not targeted in the passing game at all and lost out on goal line carries to Cook. Murray is not that far removed from being a Pro Bowl running back in Oakland, but he is clearly serving a secondary role in Minnesota. If Cook continues to struggle on the ground, it will be interesting to see how many more carries Murray is given.

2018 Week 1 vs SF (11 / 42 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

It is easy to forget the Murray was a Pro Bowler and had a season with over 1,000 yards when he was in Oakland as he fights to remain relevant in Minnesota. He was the only back to find any sort of rhythm or success against the 49ers this week, though very limited. He led the team in rush yards despite 5 less carries than Cook. His biggest contribution came in the form of insurance. After Cook had fumbled away the ball on the 49ers side of the field in the first half, Murray was used down the stretch to help run out the clock and save wear and tear on Cook. Murray managed a lone 9-yard run for his best play of the game and was not targeted in the passing game at all. The Vikings did not spend a lot of time in the red zone today or near the goal line. It will be interesting to see which back is given the ball in a 1st and goal to go situation as the season progresses.

More

Latest News

Saints | Latavius Murray officially joins NO (Wed Mar 13, 09:47 PM) - Free-agent RB Latavius Murray (Vikings) officially agreed to terms with the New Orleans Saints Wednesday, March 13.

link to story   

Saints | Latavius Murray to join Saints (Tue Mar 12, 12:09 PM) - Minnesota Vikings impending free-agent RB Latavius Murray plans to sign a four-year deal with the New Orleans Saints worth $14.4 million, according to a source.

Our View: The Saints get a veteran back who can grind on early downs while Alvin Kamara is set to have a more prominent role. Mark Ingram is unlikely to return with Murray in the fold.
link to story   

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