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Stevan Ridley Ready for Any Role in Vikings Offense

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Stevan Ridley isn't taking this opportunity for granted.

The running back was added to the Vikings roster on Thursday, the same day Minnesota put rookie Dalvin Cook on Injured Reserve because of a torn ACL.

Ridley spoke to the Twin Cities media and said he's ready to come in and make the most of his chance in Purple.

"Ever since I've left New England, I've been trying to find a fit," Ridley said. "Injuries can kind of derail you sometimes. Every day that I'm here, I just have to be the best that I can be to fit here and try to stick around."

Ridley spent four seasons with the Patriots before playing sparingly for the Jets and Falcons the past two seasons. He was with Denver for training camp and the preseason but was among the final roster cuts.

The Vikings brought Ridley in for a workout Wednesday and added him to the team to next day.

"He's a veteran back who's had good success in the league," said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. "He had a good workout yesterday.

"He had 1,200 yards, I think, the last time he played," Zimmer added. "

The 28-year-old's best season came in 2012 when he rushed for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns on 290 carries. Ridley finished seventh in the NFL in rushing that season and tied for third in touchdown runs.

Ridley has since dealt with injuries, including a pair of torn ACLs. Ridley said he can relate to what Cook is now going through.

"It's obviously a void that happened, and he's obviously a tremendous back, a young back that I look forward to meeting and talking to because I've been through that," Ridley said of Cook. "I've had two ACL (injuries) and know that it's a blow. 

"But with technology and with things the way they are today, you really can come back. Back in the day, if you had an ACL at any position, especially running back, you could go ahead and cancel Christmas. Your career would be over," Ridley later added. "I really think it's more of your mindset going into it and trusting and believing in the process. Nothing is going to be easy. I think the second one was easier to overcome than the first one because I had been through it before. But it is a challenge and you have to prepare yourself going forward and know there's going to be days that are terrible. But you can get through it and you can pull through."

View images of Vikings new RB Stevan Ridley from his days with the Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and New England Patriots.

Ridley joins a running back room that includes Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon, plus fullback C.J. Ham. 

A former third-round pick out of LSU, Ridley said he's willing to accept any role on his new team.

"The fit is playing my position and doing my job and executing. It's going out there and getting positive yardage, falling forward and protecting the quarterback," Ridley said. "To be a great running back, you have to do it in all three phases — catching the ball, blocking and running. That's what I'm trying to do, and that's the fit for me.

"[I'm ready for] as many [reps] as the coaches throw my way. I really feel confident in that," Ridley later added. "I can't say an exact number, I just know that it's more than I was getting last week at the house. I'm really anxious and ready to go out and do what I can."

Ridley has 688 career carries for 2,914 yards and 22 touchdowns.

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