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A.J. Rose has big game on the ground in Week 1 NFL preseason

Vikings RB A.J. Rose Jr. had a strong showing in Week 1 of the NFL preseason. We recap his performance.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings running back AJ Rose runs the ball against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings head into the 2021-22 season looking to get back to the playoffs behind a high-powered offense and an improving defense. RB Dalvin Cook is the main attraction of Minnesota’s offense, but the Vikings do want some depth behind him. And that’s where A.J. Rose Jr. comes into play.

A.J. Rose Jr. Stats

25 carries, 100 yards, 1 reception for 18 yards

Analysis

Rose saw plenty of action in Minnesota’s first preseason game, a 33-6 loss to the Denver Broncos. However, this was a big game for the Kentucky product. He was able to reach the 100-yard milestone despite needing significant volume to get there, but Rose did have some nice runs. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry last season at Kentucky, so he’ll need to showcase that level of efficiency to make the team.

Fantasy implications

The Vikings are going to lean on Cook, and Alexenander Mattison is secure in the backup role, but the No. 3 back is up for grabs and Rose can certainly make a case for snaps as a change-of-pace running back.