Vikings Snap Counts: Boone comes up short as fill-in running back

The Minnesota Vikings – and perhaps more than a few fantasy football owners – were hoping Mike Boone could fill in admirably for injured running backs Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison.

However, it turned out Boone only played one-third of Minnesota’s snaps in Monday night’s 23-10 home loss to Green Bay. Ameer Abdullah ended up having nearly twice as many snaps as Boone on the night.

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Boone had rushed 13 times for 56 yards and two touchdowns the previous week against the Los Angeles Chargers after Cook exited with an injury. Coming in as a sub, Boone had 21 snaps (32.3%) in that contest and got the start against the Packers, leading to the belief he’d carry a heavy load on Monday Night Football.

But after a first half in which he gained just 28 yards on 10 carries and had one reception for five yards, Boone had just one touch in the second half – a run for no gain.

The Vikings turned things over to Abdullah, a better receiver out of the backfield, as Minnesota called 22 pass plays in the second half and ran the ball just five times.

Abdullah played in 32 offensive snaps (59%) after having appeared in just 87 snaps combined in Minnesota’s first 14 games – 15 of those coming in Week 15 vs. the Chargers and 10 in Week 5 at the New York Giants. He hadn’t had more than eight offensive snaps in any other game this season.

Abdullah finished with four carries for 27 yards and six catches on a team-high seven targets for 31 yards. All of those were season highs with the exception of carries. He had six receptions on the season coming into the game.

With Week 17 not meaning anything for Minnesota other than its final record – the Vikings are locked into the No. 6 seed in the playoffs – the good news is it offers Cook and Mattison another week to get healthy and ready for the playoffs. Because Minnesota will need them.

Other snap notes from Monday’s game:

— Adam Thielen played 50 offensive snaps (93%) and was targeted four times with no catches. The last time Thielen played in more than 10% of Minnesota’s snaps and did not have a catch as Dec. 18, 2016 when he had one target in 18 snaps (31.0%) in a 34-6 loss to Indianapolis. His previous high playing time percentage without having a catch was 37.1% on Dec. 20, 2015 in a win over Chicago in which he started but was never targeted.

— After getting double-digit snaps in three straight games and seven of the last eight, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell had just one snap on offense.

— Linebacker Eric Kendricks forced two fumbles but was hurt on the second and never returned to the game. He finished with 36 snaps (47%).

— In a related note, inside linebacker Kentrell Brothers had 15 defensive snaps (19%). He had played in just 34 defensive snaps in his career, which began in 2016 (20 of those coming in 2019, including six in each of the two previous weeks). Brothers finished with three tackles.

— No Vikings quarterback played in even three-quarters of the defensive snaps. Mike Hughes led the way with 53 snaps (69%). Both safeties – Anthony Harris and Harrison Smith – were in on every play.

PLAYER Plays (54) %
Kline 54 100%
Reiff 54 100%
O’Neilll 54 100%
Cousins 54 100%
Bradbury 54 100%
Elflein 54 100%
Thielen 50 93%
Diggs 46 85%
Rudolph 36 67%
Smith 33 61%
Abdullah 32 59%
Johnson 24 44%
Boone 18 33%
Ham 17 31%
Conklin 7 13%
Hollins 6 11%
Treadwell 1 2%
PLAYER Plays (77) %
Harris 77 100%
H. Smith 77 100%
Barr 70 91%
Hunter 66 86%
Griffen 59 77%
Wilson 56 73%
Hughes 53 69%
Waynes 50 65%
Rhodes 48 62%
Joseph 45 58%
Alexander 43 56%
Stephen 38 49%
Kendricks 36 47%
Odenigbo 31 40%
Weatherly 28 36%
J. Johnson 24 31%
Watts 17 22%
Brothers 15 19%
C. Smith 6 8%
Kearse 5 6%
Hill 3 4%