The Vikings lost a reliable backup running back this offseason when Toby Gerhart signed with the Jaguars as a free agent, but it doesn’t sound like Adrian Peterson is too worried about who will be spelling him this season.
Minnesota drafted Jerick McKinnon out of Georgia Southern in the third round in this year’s draft and says that he’s been “learning from the best in the game” since he started working alongside Peterson. Peterson has liked what McKinnon has done with the lessons.
“He’s pretty impressive and there’s not too many guys who impress me like that, especially rookies coming in,” Peterson said, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He’s been able to do some real good things in the offense, picking it up well and just his running style.”
Peterson probably isn’t going to cede much more time to McKinnon than he ceded to Gerhart, but McKinnon should have impact on the team outside of running the ball. McKinnon says he’s patterned some of his game after Reggie Bush and it looks like he has a chance to earn time as both a returner and a pass catcher out of the backfield. If he’s effective in those roles, the loss of Gerhart shouldn’t prove to be a particularly big one for the Vikings.