Through five games, running back Latavius Murray is not having the start he envisioned when signing with the Minnesota Vikings.
The 2015 Pro Bowler has gained just 69 yards on 26 carries and caught four passes for 20 yards. Since Dalvin Cook suffered a season-ending ACL tear, Murray has been given 19 carries for just 52 yards, with only one run of more than five yards.
Despite getting the start against the Chicago Bears, Jerick McKinnon saw the majority of touches with 16 runs and six catches.
“I think when you go into the game our intention was to use both of them and then he [Jerick McKinnon] had the hot hand and we just kind of stuck with him,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said.
Murray said he was not satisfied with his performance.
“I think for the most part I ran well, but I think there were times where I was second guessing myself a little bit, didn’t have my feet under me,” Murray said. “Other than that, I felt I ran the ball well, but still there is a lot more I can improve on. I can be a lot better and I will be a lot better.”
History would back up his claim. Murray, whose start in Minnesota was delayed by offseason ankle surgery, has averaged 4.1 yards per carry in 569 carries. He also played a valuable role in the passing game last season with the Raiders, averaging 8.0 yards per reception on 33 catches.
The 27-year-old running back was asked where he felt he was second guessing.
“Hitting what I see, maybe my first read, first reaction,” Murray said. “It’s going to start with me, what I do with my carries. I know I’ll be better. I have confidence that if I’m playing better I’ll have more opportunities.”
The Green Bay Packers might offer some opportunity for Murray to break out as they rank 20th in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt allowed.