Kevin SeifertESPN Writer2 minute read
The Minnesota Vikings added a long-awaited addition to their offensive line, agreeing to terms Monday with guard Dalton Risner in a deal that suggests he will soon be a starter, a source told ESPN.
Risner, who played the previous four seasons for the Denver Broncos, is expected to sign a deal worth about $4 million for the remainder of this season, the source said, more than any of the Vikings’ current starting guards.
The Vikings have struggled this season to open holes in their running game, which as of Monday afternoon has produced the fewest yards (69) of any NFL team that has played two games. Vikings running backs average 0.77 yards before contact, also the lowest in the league and an indication that the line hasn’t provided much room to run.
Risner has been on the Vikings’ radar for a while, having visited the team on August 1 during training camp. At the time, coach Kevin O’Connell indicated that Risner was not completely healthy, saying, “We really just wanted to bring him in and get to know him a little better, use the one-visit process to do that and see if we can possibly take what we see as a strong group and make it even better.
However, the interior of the Vikings’ offensive line was a problem spot last season, and that trend has continued in 2023. Center Garrett Bradbury has played just seven snaps due to a lower back injury, and the guards Ezra Cleveland and Ed Ingram have had issues at times.
Risner started all but four games for the Broncos, missing two games each in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He played through a back and shoulder injury last season, but was placed on injured reserve before the end of the season. due to an elbow injury.
ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.
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