Despite his optimism, Latavius Murray opens the Minnesota Vikings preseason on the physical unable to perform list.
The news is disappointing for Murray, the man initially pegged to replace Adrian Peterson in the Minnesota backfield. Specifics regarding his recovery are unknown, but one can assume he experienced a setback or simply slow recovery. Murray’s surgery was a relatively minor procedure but for an NFL running back, ankle problems can evolve into career-killers.
The Minnesota Vikings knew Latavius Murray was due for surgery before signing him to a three-year, $15 million contract in March. A spectator during Vikings’ offseason workouts, Murray remained confident that he’d be ready to go for the start of training camp.
“…obviously I don’t want to miss any more time than I have to,” Murray told the Pioneer Press in late-April.
NFL Reaction: Has the NBA outperformed and surpassed the NFL
Game Preview: Preseason Week 1: Packers vs Eagles game preview
The 4th year pro out of Central Florida now faces an uphill battle in his first season with the Vikings. And while Murray is easing himself back onto the field, rookie Dalvin Cook is full steam ahead. Their prized selection of the NFL Draft, Cook is who figures to be the long-term solution in Minnesota’s backfield.
Jerick McKinnon, a former Vikings’ 3rd round pick and 7-game starter in 2016, also returns to the fold this season. McKinnon has flashed some big play ability over the past 2 seasons, but isn’t built for every-down back duties. Expect Pat Shurmur to write the former Georgia Southern quarterback into the offense either way.
Latavius Murray has maintained that he will be the Vikings’ Week 1 starter. Starting camp on the PUP list complicates such a prediction, but nothing is completely out of reach. Depending on his participation, Murray can be removed from the PUP prior to the start of the regular season. Also working against him is the likelihood Dalvin Cook shoulders a majority of the first team reps at camp.
Despite his contract, Murray shouldn’t forget that Minnesota moved up in the draft to select the dynamic Cook out of Florida State. An argument exists as to whether the Vikings would have signed Latavius Murray if the NFL Draft came first.