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Vikings Add RB Depth Behind Dalvin Cook With Latest Signing

Devon Platana
The Minnesota Vikings have added RB depth behind Dalvin Cook by signing free agent Ito Smith.
The Minnesota Vikings have added RB depth behind Dalvin Cook by signing free agent Ito Smith. / Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Fifth-year running back Dalvin Cook will, once again, lead the Minnesota Vikings backfield as the 2021 NFL season approaches. However, it's never a bad idea to have too much depth in case of injuries or other circumstances, which is why the Vikings signed former Atlanta Falcons RB Ito Smith on Monday.

Smith, who spent the past three seasons with the Falcons, signed with the Arizona Cardinals on August 7. He was then released nine days later as a part of the Cardinals' first round of roster cuts.

Minnesota Vikings News

Unlike his stint with the Cardinals, Smith hopes that his tenure in Minnesota will last a bit longer. He won't be a game-changer with the Vikings, as proven by the 19.1 rushing yards per game over his career. However, he's a suitable depth option that can come in briefly whenever Cook or even Alexander Mattison needs a breather.

The Vikings had one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL last year. They averaged 142.7 rushing yards per game, which ranked fifth-best leaguewide, while averaging 1.2 touchdowns on the ground per contest (T-6th). Perhaps playing in an offense like Minnesota's will be the key to improving Smith's own rushing. After all, he's averaging 4.4 yards per carry over the past two seasons, so it's not like he's the worst running back that the team could've signed.

We'll see how much playing time Smith gets this week as the Vikings are set to face the Kansas City Chiefs in their preseason finale on Friday. Minnesota is the +165 underdog ahead of the matchup, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, while Kansas City is favored at -195 odds.

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