Vikings’ Jerick McKinnon recovering from back surgery

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Jerick McKinnon, who will likely be the Vikings’ starting running back if Adrian Peterson doesn’t return to the team, is recovering from back surgery.

McKinnon told the Star Tribune that he tried to play through his back injury late in the season, but it just got too bad to manage. He needed surgery and is expecting to be good to go for 2015.

I was happy with how the season went. It was a blessing, just being able to play in the NFL, a dream come true,” he said. “I took it for what it was. I’m happy but I’m not content.”

A college quarterback in a run-first offense at Georgia Southern, McKinnon had a great performance at last year’s Combine and was drafted by the Vikings with the idea that he could be brought along slowly in learning the running back position while backing up Adrian Peterson. As it turned out, Peterson was suspended for child abuse and McKinnon emerged as the Vikings’ starter. He played very well, averaging 4.8 yards a carry, and will either be the Vikings’ No. 2 running back if Peterson returns next year or the No. 1 running back if Peterson is gone.

But in order for McKinnon to be the starting running back, he has to get healthy and stay healthy.

56 responses to “Vikings’ Jerick McKinnon recovering from back surgery

  1. Nothing “beastly” about Jerrick. He is just very quick, and pretry fast. But bit he us undersized and he’s down very easily. I don’t see him being an all around back. If he’s the guy, they still need a banger at the goal line.

  2. “I was happy with how the season went. It was a blessing, just being able to play in the NFL, a dream come true,”
    —Jerick McKinnon

    That is something that Peterson needs to realize…..it is a privilege to play in the NFL, not a right or an automatic thing. Cut him or trade him. The Vikings are far better off without him in the long run!

  3. If he plays for us this year, he will be better than the combination of Jim brown, OJ Simpson and Barry Sanders. Of course, that all depends on whether Adrian comes back, in which case jerrick will barely sniff the field. Ah, such is the life of a team that has potential hall of fame players manning all of their back up positions.

  4. Not sure McKinnon could be a 25 carry-a-game RB, and maybe he doesn’t need to be. However, if Peterson doesn’t come back, he may end up getting the chance to prove that or disprove it.

    No question this guy can play and play well. Hope he returns at full strength.

  5. As a Viking 4life since 1968 and a college football fanatic I’m telling you this guy McKinnon is pretty darn good, his game is a lot like Sean McCoy of Philadelphia and the Vikings need that in this offense. The Minnesota Vikings have already signed a couple more running backs like a LeSean McCoy-Jerick McKinnon type and that’s exactly what they need in this offense. As much as I have enjoyed Adrian Peterson and will always greatly respect his running ability he is no threat catching a football out of the backfield because he simply can’t catch. I really do expect to see a lot more of Jerick McKinnon…

  6. He doesn’t have the power to move the pile or knock people back like adrian, but when he sees the hole, his has the acceleration to take off. Very smooth and fluid runner. Good pass catcher too. Similar to Jamaal Charles. Good back, but still hoping adrian comes back.

  7. If AP isn’t back they’ll draft someone or sign a FA to work as a committee with McKinnon. He doesn’t have the body to be an every-down type of back and that’s not why he was drafted. Technically he may be the “starter” but I don’t see workhorse in this guy’s future. Talented weapon for sure, just not a work horse.

  8. He was the only college QB they drafted last year with normal sized hands…

    The collective hands of the Packer are just big enough to fit around their throats…

  9. McKinnon was picked with one of the draft choices they got from Seattle in the Harvin trade, along with future All-Pro Xavier Rhodes (aka Rhodes Island, aka Rhodes Closed). That trade was almost as lopsided as the Packers trading two firsts, two seconds, and a third for John Hadl.

  10. As a Vikings fan, some of these comparisons in the comments crack me up.

    “Straight Beast”
    “Not an every down back”
    “Lesean McCoy”
    “Jamaal Charles”
    “Not very strong (even though he benched 32 reps at 225 at the combine, which was the #1 RB and beat many oline and dlineman)”

    I don’t think anyone who reads the comments could even decipher what he is haha. What he is is a raw talent rookie that is short, yes, but has a good combination of size, speed, and strength, and flashed some good things during his rookie season (most particularly his patience). What he’ll amount to in the NFL? No idea. We’ll all just have to hold off on the JChar comparisons for now, and just wait and see.

  11. The dude had ZERO TDs in his rookie season!! Not one. 140 opportunities between rushing/receiving and he never sniffed the endzone.

    But at least he hasn’t been convicted of beating 4 yr old kids yet.

  12. And McKinnon didn’t want to be a loser Packers just like Teddy didn’t want to be a Brown. Too bad so sad for the choke epic, collapse, and or melt down team.

  13. Even if AD comes back McKinnon could be a good change of pace back. You know, switch things up…

  14. McKinnon will be a great compliment to AP. Keep 28 unless the trade value surprises. 28 has good seasons left and 400 touches is what he owes the Vikes after last season’s mess.

    AP stays, Jerrick spells AP x carries a game.

    Don’t weaken your team for a hotel contract. Raddison’s have turned into dumps anyways.

  15. The dude had ZERO TDs in his rookie season!! Not one. 140 opportunities between rushing/receiving and he never sniffed the endzone. But at least he hasn’t been convicted of beating 4 yr old kids yet……

    You must have missed the article…The Janesville Times said that Matt Asiata got all the carries in the red zone

  16. Another viking offseason superstar where have we not heard this before?……………………………..

    I read where this Brandon Bostick guy is really good..

  17. October 2 vs. Packers

    McKinnon
    7 rushes
    24 yards
    0 TD”s

    Lacy
    13 rushes
    105 yards
    2 TD’s

    November 23 vs. Packers

    McKinnon
    15 rushes
    54 yards
    0 TD’s

    Lacy
    25 rushes
    125 yards
    1 TD

  18. A small RB with one back surgery already under his belt and playing behind a crappy OL.

    MN had better draft at least another RB and probably 2 but they also have to draft O-linemen and defense and I think they will have only 7 picks since nobody they lost last year was worth a comp pick.

  19. Is it me but what is so positive about a guy who in his first year as a running back needed back surgery. That kind of sounds like the potential for the need of an every down back…AP or someone else is a must. Watch us lose AP and go for Gurley. Talent does not win big games, HEALTHY talent wins big games.

  20. I am a Vikings fan and I did not see anything that jumped out at me in his game, he was average at best. However in the NFL and for his first year as an actual runningback he showed promise. He had a couple good games and a couple non-factor.

    If the Vikings don’t keep AP it will not be McKinnons job. There is a lot of potential RBs out there. Possible that Demarco(great fit), Lynch, Ridley, Gore, Bradshaw, Forsett, Spiller? All out there.

  21. Meanwhile, our little sisters to the east are having surgery on their throats for their massive choke jobs yet again for losing ANOTHER playoff game!

  22. Don’t worry Seahawks and packers trolls pretty soon that small hand will be holding the Lombardi trophy

  23. Love the dopes that claim he’s not durable — he sustained the back injury lifting weights as opposed to playing, and even then he played with it for 4 games. Then again, we probably need some perspective here — when the only weights a RB on another team lifts (cough, Lacy) are double cheeseburgers, that problem likely doesn’t arise.

  24. These Viking players are so soft these days that it’s no wonder they haven’t beaten the Packers in 3 years…

    Check out 2012…

  25. As a Vikings fan, some of these comparisons in the comments crack me up.

    “Straight Beast”
    “Not an every down back”
    “Lesean McCoy”
    “Jamaal Charles”
    “Not very strong (even though he benched 32 reps at 225 at the combine, which was the #1 RB and beat many oline and dlineman)”…

    Many people in Minnesota would die to have a hybrid back like Eddie Lacy. When you have a mix of Ron Dayne and Trent Richardson, with Aaron Rogers helping the run game one must watch him waddle to the line of scrimmage with awe..

  26. 18n1isStillBetterThanYourTeam says:
    Feb 16, 2015 12:52 PM

    In fact, if you think about it, most of the positives for the Vikings this past year disappear if you eliminate that game against the Falcons.
    ________

    Really? That was McKinnon’s best game, but he also had 100 yards against Buffalo. Bridgewater had a nice game with a 98.9 passer rating in his first start, but he had three other games with much higher passer ratings. And the defense played one of their worst games of the year against Atlanta.

  27. Hey Ross — Lacy’s good, gotta admit it. But ask yourself this: with the best QB in the league, two of the best OGs and serviceable OTs, shouldn’t Lacy (the plow horse) be better? Put AP, Lynch, Bell or most any other starting NFL RB in the same position, and they’d perform, at minimum, 25% better than Lacy.

  28. Not sure why anybody is talking about Eddie Lacy in this thread. He was #7 in yards last year with 1139. That’s more than Asiata and Mckinnon COMBINED.

  29. Back problems are worse than knee problems. I hope this don’t wreck his career and hope he is good to go. The Vikings either get AP to play for them or draft another RB just for a backup plan.

  30. Not sure why anybody is talking about Eddie Lacy in this thread. He was #7 in yards last year with 1139. That’s more than Asiata and Mckinnon COMBINED…

    Did the passing game suffer when Rogers was out? Then you can expect a running game to suffer without Adrian Peterson?

  31. At 80% healthy McKinnon would be highly effective against the porous Packer defense, even with Mattews in and not taking a play off.

    Also I just read that Adrian Peterson is retiring from football to open a chain of day care centers in Green Bay.

  32. The games he missed, had good reason compared to a linebacker in same division who is always on sideline at crunch time.

  33. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Feb 16, 2015 10:06 AM

    All these “Bridgewater has small hands” comments would really hurt if he hadn’t already shown that he’s a great player.
    ==================================
    He hasn’t. He had some good games at the end of the season that show he has potential. He finished the season with 14 TD’s and 12 INT’s. That isn’t greatness. Jay Cutler had twice as many TD’s, a better completion rate and a higher rating in 2014. Bears’ fans don’t consider Cutler to be great. Maybe it’s just that some fans have a different requirements for greatness. This year will be a better determination of what Bridgewater is about. Watch the games and let Bridgewater perform rather than making the typical silly offseason declarations of Vikings fans.

    And while you’re talking about the John Hadl trade from around 40 years ago, Teddy, let’s not forget the contributions that the Vikings made in building the Cowboys dynasty.

    McKinnon was too fragile to make it through one season. I know how Vikings fans get on Rodgers, after he got injured after 5 straight seasons without losing a game to injury, so I’m sure that Vikings fans see the weakness of a Jerick McKinnon who can’t get through his rookie season. Probably not a good sign when your in your early 20’s and have back problems. Hopefully, with proper exercise and treatment, McKinnon’s lumbago will get better.

  34. Hey Frank, I don’t look at the statistics, I look at how the player plays. Sure, you can’t consider Bridgewater “great” off his rookie season, but anyone who knows anything about football can see that he’s going to be a franchise quarterback for years. Google “Teddy Bridgewater” and you’ll find nothing but positivity written by football experts. The only negative comments come from people named Carl or Tokyo.

  35. With Adrian Peterson suspended indefinitely for pleading guilty to child abuse, McKinnon was only active for 11 games before herniating a disc in his lower spine. You can’t say much because he didn’t finish his rookie season.

    The former QB from Georgia Southern is 5′ 8″ and 202 lbs and while playing a last place schedule, averaged less than 50 yards a game.
    He is unlikely to get the ball as often as last season.
    Will adding bulk to his small frame add more stress on his spine and reduce his speed? How effective was the surgery?

    As pointed out above he will be fighting for a roster spot on a sub .500 team.

  36. sonofad says: Feb 16, 2015 11:00 AM

    October 2 vs. Packers

    McKinnon
    7 rushes
    24 yards
    0 TD”s

    Lacy
    13 rushes
    105 yards
    2 TD’s

    November 23 vs. Packers

    McKinnon
    15 rushes
    54 yards
    0 TD’s

    Lacy
    25 rushes
    125 yards
    1 TD

    _____________________________

    What’s your point? This article has nothing to do with Eddie Lacy.

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