Former Giants' leading rusher joins NFC foe for postseason push
The Minnesota Vikings' backfield took a major hit on Monday, December 14, and it'll be felt in Week 15 when they face the Chicago Bears in a must-win divisional matchup. Alexander Mattison, the team's primary backup to star Dalvin Cook, has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 protocol list.
Minnesota went out and claimed veteran running back Wayne Gallman off waivers to help offset the loss of their second-leading rusher.
Gallman's addition to the roster is pending a physical, according to the team's official website.
Mattison, a Clemson product, played in six games for the Atlanta Falcons this season before being released on December 11. According to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, Mattison will miss Monday's game against Chicago and will be out for at least 10 days due to an unvaccinated status.
This, despite the fact that the 23-year-old running back appeared in a San Bernardino County commercial in April promoting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Gallman, a fourth-round pick of the New York Giants in 2017, spent four seasons with East Rutherford, accumulating 1,942 rushing yards and 11 total touchdowns.
With Saquon Barkley out for the season due to a torn ACL, Gallman andmdash; for the first time in his career andmdash; sat atop an NFL depth chart for an extended period of time last season.
He led the team's backfield in every major statistical category, setting career highs in rushing attempts (147), rushing yards (682), and rushing touchdowns (six) in the process.
His 4.6 yards per carry ranked 16th among running backs with at least 105 carries in the league.
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Gallman appeared to have played himself out of the Giants' future in many ways.
After a breakout season and a shot at a bigger role in the future, playing second fiddle to Barkley never seemed to be in the cards for the Georgia native.
However, while the Giants quickly moved on to Devontae Booker as a backup to Barkley, Gallman never quite lived up to the high expectations placed on him.
Instead, the 27-year-old sat on the open market for nearly a month, attracting little attention.
In late April, he signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers for less than $1 million.
He was released on August 31 during final roster cuts after spending the majority of the preseason buried on the team's depth chart.
He returned to the NFC quickly, signing with the Falcons only two days later.
Gallman appeared destined to carve out a role with the Falcons quickly, with a solid but unremarkable Mike Davis as the lone proven commodity ahead of him.
Instead, all-purpose phenom Cordarrelle Patterson decided that 30 was the perfect age to start living up to his first-round billing, sweeping the league and looking like an elite hybrid running back.
Patterson has 1,389 yards from scrimmage in 12 games this season, which is the third-most in the NFL.
Gallman was once again kicked to the curb after only 28 carries, despite Patterson's success and Davis' annual salary of $2.75 million.
Gallman, who is on his fourth team in less than a month, will try to recapture the magic he had last season with the Vikings, who are a half-game out of the NFC's final wild-card spot.