The Minnesota Vikings have announced that they’ve signed former New England Patriots and New York Jets running back Stevan Ridley, and have placed rookie running back Dalvin Cook on injured reserve.
Cook was placed on injured reserve after going down against the Detroit Lions because of a torn ACL, sustained while running but without contact.
Ridley has had a tumultuous career after his own knee injury, tearing both his ACL and MCL in 2014 with the New England Patriots. Despite being part of a committee, he gained over 1,200 rushing yards with the New England Patriots in 2012, gaining 12 touchdowns that season.
Unfortunately, in 2013, Ridley was benched after multiple fumbles and LeGarrette Blount took over his role, forcing Ridley to take an even smaller role in the crowded New England backfield — he only gained 773 yards that season, but added seven more touchdowns to his total.
Ridley has not been able to revive his career since his knee injury, though he has significant opportunity to do so in Minnesota.
The former LSU standout isn’t a speedster — he ran a 4.66-second 40-yard dash at his combine — but is an uncommonly quick player for his size with very good vision and decisive player as a runner.
Ridley is primarily seen as a plodding goal-line back, but was a capable runner from every situation for New England. He uses his size well to break tackles and generates extra yards through contact.
While fumbling is seemingly a concern, he actually has a near league-average fumble rate of 1.34 percent — the true league average for running backs is 1.29 percent — which is superior to former Vikings running backs Toby Gerhart and Adrian Peterson, as well as other notable backs like David Johnson, Jonathan Stewart, Todd Gurley and Jamaal Charles.
He should provide the Vikings with the depth they need to keep the running game stable and the offense on schedule.