Vikings Fans Will Love These Comments from Dalton Risner

Aug 29, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive tackle Dalton Risner (66) in the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Through two weeks of the NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings have the worst rushing offense in the NFL.

They rank last in both rushing attempts (26) and rushing yards (69). In fact, since the merger in 1970, the Vikings are just the fifth team to amass just 26 or fewer rushing attempts in their first two games, per Stathead.

After an offseason where it seemed like more emphasis would be placed on running the ball this year, it’s a very disappointing start to say the least. That being said, the Vikings seem to be trying to rejuvenate this portion of their offense. They signed guard Dalton Risner on Monday and followed it up with a trade to acquire RB Cam Akers on Wednesday.

Risner was at Vikings practice for the first time on Wednesday, and afterwards, he spoke with the media on how he sees himself fitting into the offense. Vikings fans will absolutely love what the offensive lineman had to say.

Vikings Fans Will Love the First Comments from Dalton Risner

Vikings Fans
Sep 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Denver Broncos guard Dalton Risner (66) against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When asked about his role with the Vikings, Risner responded with the following:

“I want to earn the respect of the players on this team. A lot of the guys have no idea who I am. A lot of these guys have never played with me before, so for me, I want to earn the respect of these guys, I want to show up every day to show them I’m willing to do whatever role that is. If you need me to carry your pads off the field after practice, I’ll do it. I really don’t care what that role is for now.”

Dalton Risner on his role with the Vikings

Keep in mind, Risner is a player who was selected 41st overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. That was just four years ago. Throughout his NFL career, the offensive lineman has played in 62 NFL games and has started each and every one of them.

Dec 12, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (85) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) and guard Dalton Risner (66) in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Not only has Risner been a career starter at this level, but he’s been very effective in his role. During his first four years, the former Denver Bronco has been regarded as one of the best pass-blocking guards in the NFL. PFF gave him a grade of 72.6 in that department last year, which ranked 19th among guards with at least 400 pass-blocking snaps.

It would be very easy, and understandable even, for Risner to come into the Vikings organization with the expectation of starting. Instead, he has set the tone that he will work hard in whatever role he is given by Kevin O’Connell and the coaching staff.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Jan 1, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) celebrates with guard Dalton Risner (66) after scoring against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

This is exactly the mindset and leadership that you’d hope for from a veteran acquisition in the middle of a season. Minnesota has dug themselves a hole at 0-2, but it is not an insurmountable one as both Detroit and Green Bay sit at 1-1 on top of the NFC North.

With Risner in the building, hopefully the Vikings will get more efficient play from their offensive line and revive their 2023 season. That task begins with a Week 3 home matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.