Vikings Snap Counts: McKinnon takes over

Latavius Murray may have a new contract, but this is Jerick McKinnon’s backfield for now.

That’s the message the Minnesota Vikings sent Monday night, when the fourth-year running back powered them past the Chicago Bears, providing Pat Shurmur’s suddenly anemic offense with a much needed spark.

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With any concerns about game script neutralized in a low-scoring game, he was the clear favorite, out-snapping Murray 67-31.

McKinnon picked up 95 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries — including a 58-yard touchdown run — and gained just over a third of his rushing yards after contact.

With receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen locked down and out of sync with quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Case Keenum, McKinnon was the Vikings’ leading receiver too, hauling in six receptions for 45 yards.

In a normal game — a game that is not tied 3-2 at halftime, say — Murray will probably get more work on the goal line, where he excelled last season with the Oakland Raiders.

The Vikings were only the red zone three times Monday, but McKinnon remained their preferred option.

Murray had just two red-zone carries for six yards, while McKinnon didn’t get a carry in the red zone until the Vikings’ final drive, setting up the go-ahead field goal with consecutive runs of three, five and one yard.

Other notes from Monday’s snap counts:

— That was McKinnon’s fourth career game with more than 100 yards from scrimmage.

— Receiver Michael Floyd made his Vikings debut, appearing on 46 percent of their offensive snaps. He was hit with a holding call in the third quarter, but caught the lone pass thrown his way just a few plays later, picking up 19 yards.

— A week after the entire line played 100 percent of the snaps, guard Nick Easton suffered a calf injury and missed 10 snaps.

— Diggs left with a groin injury but returned late in the game, maintaining his usual workload of 70-80 percent of the offensive snaps.

— The Vikings aren’t mixing things up much on defense. Andrew Sendejo and Harrison Smith have now appeared on every defensive snap this season at safety.

OFFENSE

PLAYER Plays (70) %
Berger 70 100%
Elflein 70 100%
Reiff 70 100%
Remmers 70 100%
Thielen 68 97%
Rudolph 67 96%
Easton 60 86%
Diggs 49 70%
McKinnon 47 67%
Keenum 44 63%
Treadwell 42 60%
Floyd 32 46%
Bradford 26 37%
Murray 22 31%
Morgan 12 17%
Sirles 10 14%
Ham 6 9%
Bell 3 4%
Wright 2 3%

DEFENSE

PLAYER Plays (61) %
Sendejo 61 100%
Barr 61 100%
Kendricks 61 100%
Smith 61 100%
Rhodes 59 97%
Griffen 56 92%
Waynes 54 89%
Hunter 47 77%
T. Johnson 42 69%
Joseph 41 67%
Robison 34 56%
Newman 26 43%
Gedeon 25 41%
Alexander 19 31%
Stephen 18 30%
J. Johnson 4 7%
Harris 1 2%
Lamur 1 2%