Vikings Snap Counts: Running game hits a wall

Running back Matt Asiata struggled to just 13 yards on nine carries for the Minnesota Vikings in a loss to the Washington Redskins.

Brace Hemmelgarn/Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

For the better part of a decade, the Minnesota Vikings haven’t had to worry much about their running game.

Running back Adrian Peterson has averaged 4.86 yards per carry since joining the Vikings in 2007, second only to Kansas City Chiefs runner Jamaal Charles over that span.

With Peterson sidelined the Vikings have relied on grinder Matt Asiata in short yardage, sprinkling in Jerick McKinnon as a third-down back, with newcomer Ronnie Hillman earning a handful of carries here and there.

It isn’t working.

The Vikings are averaging a league-worst 2.7 yards per carry heading into a matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, and things didn’t improve last week.

They ran the ball just 21 times against the Washington Redskins, making it tough to get a read on their running back situation.

However, Asiata’s status as the starter appears to be unchanged.

He ran for just 13 yards on nine carries, while Hillman, expected to shoulder a bigger load with the running game floundering, had just four carries.

GAME 9: REDSKINS (OFFENSE)

PLAYER PLAYS (67) %
Berger 67 100%
Clemmings 67 100%
Fusco 67 100%
Boone 67 100%
Bradford 67 100%
Long 66 99%
Rudolph 57 85%
Thielen 57 85%
Diggs 51 76%
Patterson 44 66%
McKinnon 32 48%
Asiata 23 34%
Ellison 17 25%
Johnson 13 19%
Hillman 13 19%
Line 11 16%
Easton 10 15%
Sirles 4 6%
Wright 4 6%

GAME 9: REDSKINS (DEFENSE)

PLAYER PLAYS (63) %
Smith 63 100%
Sendejo 63 100%
Barr 62 98%
Waynes 59 94%
Greenway 58 92%
Robison 54 86%
Newman 51 81%
Griffen 50 81%
Rhodes 50 79%
Joseph 47 79%
Stephen 38 75%
Hunter 33 60%
Johnson 30 48%
Alexander 14 22%
Kendricks 11 17%
Cole 9 14%
Lamur 1 2%

— Offensive tackle Jake Long is lost for the season with an Achilles injury. The notoriously frail left tackle went down with just 11 seconds remaining in the game. The Vikings then turned to Jeremiah Sirles, who allowed a game-ending sack on fourth and 17.

— Rookie receiver Laquon Treadwell was a surprise inactive after suffering a hamstring injury in practice Thursday. He logged his first NFL catch last week on a 15-yard pass from Sam Bradford.

— Although they approached equal playing time against the Bears, Sunday’s game was the first time this season that receiver Adam Thielen has out-snapped Stefon Diggs.

— Xavier Rhodes remains in the league’s concussion protocol after leaving in the second half. Trae Waynes led all Vikings cornerbacks with 59 snaps.

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