Vikings Release Veteran RB, Leaving Roster Spot Open

Kevin O'Connell, Vikings

Getty Head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings running back room became overcrowded after the September 21 trade for Los Angeles Rams back Cam Akers, prompting a roster shakeup.

The Vikings released veteran running back Myles Gaskin on Tuesday, September 26, ending his month-long stint in Minnesota for the former Miami Dolphins running back. Gaskin played just two snaps on special teams this season.

The Vikings did not report a corresponding move on Tuesday, per the league transaction wire.

Gaskin’s release ahead of Week 4 makes one extra roster spot available against the Carolina Panthers. It’s curious timing, given that players who started the season on the injured reserve required to sit out one more week before they can be activated to the 53-man roster.

Third-year running back Kene Nwangwu is among those players eligible to rejoin the team next week, as are defensive tackle James Lynch, linebacker William Kwenkeu and wide receiver Malik Knowles.

Instead of a placement off the injured reserve list, a roster move or practice-squad elevation is likely on the docket sometime this week with those players still a week away from eligibility.

If Nwangwu does return for Week 5, he’ll join Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler and Akers on the active roster.

Alexander Mattison Breaks Silence on Vikings’ Trade for Cam Akers

Cam Akers, Rams

GettyRunning back Cam Akers, formerly of the Los Angeles Rams.

After two games this season, the Vikings ranked dead last in rushing yards with just 69 yards on the ground, prompting a move to revitalize the running game.

A 2026 pick swap was all it took to pry Akers away from Los Angeles, as his time with the Rams organization had run its course.

Mattison, who signed a two-year, $7 million contract with $6.35 million guaranteed, was not discouraged by the potential for a timeshare in Minnesota.

“That’s not a bad move at all,” Mattison said in response to the trade for Akers, per Kevin Seifert of ESPN. “In any situation, you want to make your team better. With the opportunity to do so, we definitely welcome whatever decision they might make up top. I’m excited to have an addition to the running back room. I think he can definitely add value.”

Akers did not play in the Vikings’ Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers after arriving midweek. Mattison posted a season-high 93 rushing yards on 20 carries and added 32 receiving yards but is likely to cede some carries to Akers, possibly as early as the game against the Panthers.

Mattison has struggled with ball security, putting the ball on the ground four times in the past two weeks, but only one fumble resulted in a turnover. His involvement in the offense is worth keeping an eye on if he cannot keep the ball protected moving forward.

How History Weighs Vikings’ Fumbles

Through three weeks, the Vikings have been historically bad at keeping the ball in their hands.

According to ESPN, the Vikings’ seven lost fumbles are tied for the second-most through three games since 2000. Minnesota leads the league with nine turnovers total and -7 in turnover differential.

Ball security was stressed after the Vikings lost four fumbles to the Philadelphia Eagles in a Week 2 loss, but two more turnovers occurred Sunday on the hands of T.J. Hockenson.

Hockenson fumbled the ball inside the red zone on the Vikings’ first drive. He couldn’t secure a pass in the end zone from Kirk Cousins on the team’s final drive, resulting in a tipped ball and a game-ending interception.

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