Source: Vikes bolster O-line with guard Risner


The Minnesota Vikings have added a long-awaited supplement to their offensive line, agreeing to terms Monday with guard Dalton Risner in a deal that suggests he will soon be a starter, a source told ESPN.

Risner, who played the previous four seasons for the Denver Broncos, is expected to sign a deal worth about $4 million for the remainder of this season, the source said — more than either of the Vikings’ current starting guards.

The Vikings have struggled this season to open holes in their running game, which as of Monday afternoon has produced the fewest yards (69) for any NFL team that has played two games. Vikings running backs are averaging 0.77 yards before contact, also the lowest in the league and an indication that the line has not provided much room to run.

Risner has been on the Vikings’ radar for a while, having paid the team an Aug. 1 visit during training camp. At the time, coach Kevin O’Connell indicated that Risner was not fully healthy and said: “We really just wanted to bring him in and get to know him a little bit better, use the process of a visit to do that and see if we can possibly take what we see as a strong group and make it even better.”

The interior of the Vikings’ offensive line was a trouble spot last season, however, and that trend has continued in 2023. Center Garrett Bradbury has played only seven snaps because of a lower back injury, and guards Ezra Cleveland and Ed Ingram have struggled at times.

Risner started all but four games for the Broncos, missing two games each in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He played through a back and shoulder injury last season but was put on injured reserve before the season finale with an elbow injury.

ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.

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