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Vikings work out trio of running backs, sign XFL rushing leader

Including one that was all-XFL

XFL: MAY 13 Championship - D.C. Defenders vs Arlington Renegades Photo by Aric Becker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UPDATE: The Vikings have signed Abram Smith, according to numerous sources on social media.

We are now awaiting the corresponding roster move from the team to put the roster back at 91.

While the running back position isn’t one you would immediately think the Minnesota Vikings need to reinforce, they brought in a trio of running backs on Thursday for workouts.

Those three running backs were Aaron Dykes, Jacques Patrick, and Abram Smith.

Smith is the biggest name on the list, relatively speaking. He has a little bit of NFL experience, as he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New Orleans Saints last season and spent Training Camp with them. He then moved on to the DC Defenders of the XFL, where he led the league in rushing and was named to the All-XFL team.

Patrick served as Dalvin Cook’s backup at Florida State for a couple of seasons before moving on to the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He’s spent time with numerous different practice squads, most recently with the Denver Broncos. He also played in the XFL this past season with the San Antonio Brahmas.

Dykes, who was not in the XFL this season, was an undrafted free agent out of Richmond this past April.

While the Vikings are likely just looking for players to, potentially, fill practice squad spots, it’s also quite possible they’re looking for more runner to shoulder the preseason workload with Alexander Mattison having tweaked a hamstring in practice the other day. Even if the Vikings have more of a committee approach this season than they have in the past, Mattison is going to be considered the lead back until someone unseats him, so the Vikings will likely want to keep him protected as much as possible.