Vikings sign free agent running back Stevan Ridley

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Aug 31, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Stevan Ridley (4) breaks for a rushing gain in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Stevan Ridley (4) breaks for a rushing gain in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings signed former-Patriots running back Stevan Ridley Thursday with the hopes of, at least in part, compensating for the loss of Dalvin Cook. Cook tore the ACL in his left knee on Sunday and will require season-ending surgery.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network was the first to break the news.

ESPN’s Field Yates reported yesterday that the Vikings brought in four running backs for workouts. Besides Ridley, Troymaine Pope, Bobby Rainey and Josh Rounds also held workouts in Minnesota.

Ridley is best known for his time in New England where he was the primary ball-carrier for two seasons. He tore both his ACL and MCL in week six of the 2014 season but still received a Super Bowl ring after the Patriots defeated the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

Ridley spent time on the Jets, Lions, Colts and Falcons roster over the next two seasons before signing with Denver in 2017. He carried 38 times in the preseason for 109 yards and was released following cut-downs to 53-man rosters.

Given Ridley’s clear deterioration in recent years and his history of knee injuries, the Vikings likely are not counting on him to contribute all that much. The assumption here is that Ridley is simply on the Vikings roster to take a bit of the volume of carries off Latavius Murray’s shoulders. Murray will still almost certainly remain the primary running back for the foreseeable future.

As for the roster spot, this acquisition along with Michael Floyd’s return from suspension means that a roster move will have to be made. The odds are that one of three receivers, Stacy Coley, Rodney Adams or Laquon Treadwell, will be cut to make room.

–Sam Smith is the Managing Editor for cover32/Vikings. Like and


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