Vikings' Kevin O'Connell Sends Shockwaves with Bold $7 Million Starter Warning! - footballivenews
Connect with us

American Football

Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell Sends Shockwaves with Bold $7 Million Starter Warning!



“Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell Raises Eyebrows After Breakout Performance by Running Back Ty Chandler”

Following a stellar display by second-year running back Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell has cast doubt on the starting position of Alexander Mattison. In Chandler’s inaugural start, he amassed an impressive 132 rushing yards on 23 carries in a hard-fought 27-24 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on December 16. This marked a significant milestone for the team, as Chandler became the first player to reach the 100-yard rushing mark in a single game this season.

When questioned about Chandler’s role and whether he would continue to start over Mattison, who was sidelined due to an ankle injury, O’Connell didn’t commit to reinstating Mattison as the starter. Instead, he emphasized that the decision would depend on the team’s offensive scheme going forward.

During a news conference on December 18, O’Connell stated, “There’s no question that Ty had a huge role and impact on the game the other day. Ty is absolutely a guy that is going to continue to see a featured role in our offense. What that looks like moving forward, as far as who gets the first touch of the game and all those things, we’ll continue to kind of work through based upon what we’re attempting to do scheme-wise.”

Chandler, a 2022 fifth-round pick, has shown promise for the Vikings with his impressive 4.38-second 40-time and pass-catching abilities. While he has faced challenges in pass-blocking during his development, Chandler showcased significant improvement against the Bengals, earning an impressive 84.5 pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus (PFF).

This performance is crucial for Chandler, who is making a strong case to secure a substantial share of the backfield workload, especially after the season-ending injury to Cam Akers in Week 9.

Meanwhile, before his injury, Mattison was anticipated to be the Vikings’ starting running back for the 2023 season, signing a two-year, $7 million deal in March. O’Connell’s recent emphasis on the running game, particularly with Chandler, suggests a shift in strategy and a potential vote of confidence in Chandler’s abilities moving forward.

As the Vikings navigate uncertainties at the quarterback position, O’Connell’s commitment to Chandler, evident in his career-high carries in a single game, underscores the running back’s increasing significance in the team’s offensive plans.

In the dynamic landscape of the Vikings’ running game, the balance between Mattison’s proven track record and Chandler’s emerging potential adds an intriguing dimension to the team’s strategy for the remainder of the 2023 season and beyond.