When starting running back Dalvin Cook went down with an ACL tear in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions, the Minnesota Vikings figured their running game would survive with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon.
While McKinnon had big weeks immediately following Cook’s injury, Murray has taken over as the go-to guy on the ground of late. In the last five games, he’s rushed for 399 yards on 89 carries (4.5 yards per carry).
His presence was especially felt on Thursday against the Detroit Lions. Murray gained 84 yards on 20 carries – 46 of which came on an important drive to start the second half.
”I just tried to trust it, stay in there and find a little space,” Murray said. “Next thing I know I was at the second level. We needed to come out fast and put points on the board, especially the way things were going with them scoring.”
The former Raider burst through the Lions’ defensive line and down the sideline to set the Vikings up in Detroit territory. After two McKinnon runs for 25 yards, Murray pounded the ball into the end zone from the 2-yard line, his fifth rushing touchdown in the last five games, which put the Vikings up by 17 points.
The Vikings’ offense has been rolling of late, putting up three straight games over 400 yards. They’ve also gained over 100 yards rushing in five of the last six contests.
“I think we’ve been doing some really good things,” Murray said. “Whether it’s starting fast, starting the second half fast, it goes to show the sky is the limit if we’re hitting on all cylinders.”
With Thursday’s performance, the Vikings moved into fourth place in the NFL in offensive yards per game, only trailing Philadelphia, New England and New Orleans.