News

Print
RSS

NOTEBOOK: McKinnon, Murray Discuss 1st Time as Tandem

Posted Oct 12, 2017

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings will likely have a two-pronged rushing attack going forward.

That’s just fine with running back Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon.

The duo will continue to carry the load after Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook was lost for the season with a torn ACL in Week 4.

“Me and Latavius, we have to take off where Dalvin stopped,” McKinnon said. “His first games, he came on real fast, real hot.

“So you know, it’s just about keeping that thing going – staying consistent in the running game,” McKinnon added. “The offensive line’s done a great job – and just continuing to build.”

Added Murray: “I think the hot hand thing [will continue], for sure. Coach tries to keep whoever is running really well in there in the game. I wouldn’t expect that to change.”

McKinnon had 16 carries for 95 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown run, on Monday Night Football against the Bears.

Murray had the first five carries between the two before McKinnon came in and fared well.

Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur said the team stuck with McKinnon’s success.

“I think when you go into the game our intention was to use both of them and then he [McKinnon] had the hot hand, and we just kind of stuck with him,” Shurmur said. 

McKinnon’s effort helped lead a Vikings rushing attack that gained 159 yards on 31 carries.

The fourth-year back out of Georgia Southern said that he feels both he and Murray have a lot to prove after the loss of Cook.

“Definitely. I don’t think I’m a big guy, but I feel like I have a lot to prove,” McKinnon said. “From talking to Latavius, him too, I think that’s the thing that me and him really just do so well.

“We feed off each other because we have the same mindset,” McKinnon added. “I like working with him a lot, and it’s been good so far.”

Murray finished with 12 carries for 31 yards, his highest total in both categories so far this season. 

The offseason free agent signing missed spring practice and a portion of training camp. He has 69 yards on 26 attempts this season.

Murray said his health is fine following offseason ankle surgery, but added he expects more of himself going forward.

“I believe I am (100 percent). It’s just a matter of going out and doing it,” Murray said. “I do believe that I’m explosive and capable of making explosive runs. I just have to go out there and do it, honestly. I plan on working every single day to make that happen.

“I know what I’m capable of and what I’m able to do,” Murray later added. “I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed, [I’m] just not satisfied. But I’m not afraid that I’m not satisfied. I’ve got to continue to work and get better so I can do more.”

Diggs on effects of short week

Stefon Diggs missed practice Thursday, the second straight day he has been held out with a groin injury he suffered Monday in Chicago.

But the Vikings wide receiver said Thursday morning that his situation is not as serious as last season. Diggs missed three games with a groin issue in 2016.

Diggs said Thursday he was focused on doing everything he could to get on the field Sunday against the Packers,

“It’s a short week, so every team has its short-week problems,” Diggs said. “It’s a quick turnaround … you usually get an extra day off, but this [week] you don’t. You have to approach it more aggressively in how you take care of your body with a limited amount of time.

“A lot more time [in the training room], especially with my situation,” Diggs added. “I just try to take care of my body a little bit better than I usually do.”

The former fifth-round pick is fifth in the NFL with 395 receiving yards. He also has a team-high four receiving touchdowns.

Injury reports

For the Vikings: Diggs (groin), Andrew Sendejo (groin), Nick Easton (calf) and Sam Bradford (knee) did not participate. Eric Kendricks (shoulder) and Tom Johnson (knee) were limited. Pat Elflein (toe), Rashod Hill (knee), Shamar Stephen (back) and Jayron Kearse (groin) fully participated.

For the Packers: Ahmad Brooks (back), Morgan Burnett (hamstring), Kevin King (concussion) and Joe Thomas (ankle) did not participate. David Bakhtiari (hamstring), Bryan Bulaga (ankle) and Davon House (quadriceps) were limited. Ty Montgomery (ribs), Jordy Nelson (back) and Nick Perry (hand) fully participated.