The Minnesota Vikings are moving on from their starting running back. Just as they did last year, the Vikings will release their incumbent starter. While the Vikings waited until June to release Dalvin Cook last summer, Minnesota has already informed Alexander Mattison that he will be released, according to ESPN

After serving as Cook's backup for the first four years of his career, Mattison was finally afforded the chance to be the starter in 2023. He struggled badly with the additional opportunity, averaging just 3.9 yards per carry and failing to score a rushing touchdown the entire year. He also fumbled three times -- one more than he had in his entire career to that point.

Alexander Mattison
LV • RB • #2
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Mattison was so ineffective that the Vikings brought in Cam Akers via trade after the latter was surpassed on the Rams' depth chart by Kyren Williams. Akers progressively took on a larger role in the backfield before rupturing his Achilles and landing on injured reserve. 

It was then that Minnesota gave an opportunity to second-year back Ty Chandler, who struggled in pass protection but proved explosive as a rusher, totaling 461 yards and three scores on his 102 carries. Mattison had just one run of 20 or more yards all season, while Chandler had three from mid-November on and two in his first shot as the feature back against the Bengals in December.

Chandler seems likely to be heavily in the mix in the Vikings' backfield next season, though the team could also bring in a complementary back in either free agency or the draft. Mattison, meanwhile, will hit the open market at 25 years old, though he could have a tough time finding a significant market given his performance last year and the sheer volume of noteworthy backs set to hit free agency.