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Vikings Sign Rookie RB Aaron Dykes


EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Thursday added a new running back by signing rookie Aaron Dykes.

In order to make room for Dykes on the roster, Minnesota waived rookie kicker Jack Podlesny, who had joined the Vikings this spring as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia.

Dykes joins the Vikings as an undrafted rookie free agent who played college football at Richmond from his redshirt season of 2018 through 2022.

He appeared in 42 games for the Spiders, totaling 1,980 yards and 16 touchdowns on 470 carries. Dykes added 77 receptions for 750 yards and eight scores through the air and served as a team captain in 2022.

The native of Knoxville, Tennessee, returned 73 kickoffs a total of 1,802 yards (24.7 yards per return) and took three to the house during his college career. Dykes became the first Richmond player to return two kickoffs for touchdowns (100 yards and 88 yards against Delaware) in the same game on Oct. 26, 2019.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 7, 2024.

Dykes played high school football at Hardin Valley Academy, which opened in 2008. He finished as the school's all-time leading scorer and ranked second in career rushing yards.

The Vikings are transitioning from having Dalvin Cook as their lead running back since 2017.

Alexander Mattison, who has backed up Cook since 2019, is poised to take the reins as the starter. Minnesota also has Kene Nwangwu, Ty Chandler, DeWayne McBride and Abram Smith at the position. Nwangwu has been sidelined with an undisclosed ailment. Chandler, McBride and Smith played at Seattle in Minnesota's preseason opener.

Podlesny did not play at Seattle and had been taking reps along with veteran kicker Greg Joseph.