EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings are bolstering their offensive line by signing veteran offensive lineman Dalton Risner.
The former Denver Bronco opened the 2023 season as a free agent despite officially visiting Minnesota on Aug. 1.
The Vikings (0-2) have opened the season with an elite passing attack but failing to get the ground game going. Minnesota ranks seventh in the NFL in total offense (371.5 yards per game), despite ranking last in rushing yards per game (34.5).
The aerial attack ranks second in the NFL through two weeks, with 337.0 passing yards per game, but Kirk Cousins has been sacked four times, with Tampa Bay and Philadelphia each forcing a fumble during one of those sacks. The Bucs (nine) and Eagles (five) combined for 14 quarterback hits.
Denver selected Risner (pronounced RISE-ner) in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Kansas State. He started every game as a rookie on the way to making 62 starts (out of 66 possible) from 2019-22.
In order to make room for Risner on the roster, the Vikings placed Olisaemeka Udoh on Injured Reserve. Udoh suffered a season-ending quadriceps tendon injury at Philadelphia while playing left tackle in place of Christian Darrisaw.
Vikings offensive line coach Chris Kuper, who also played guard for the Broncos, and assistant offensive line coach Justin Rascati coached Risner for multiple seasons in Denver before Kuper and Rascati were hired by Minnesota in 2022.
Prior to his selection by Denver, Risner started 50 of Kansas State's 51 games from 2015-18, beginning at center and then moving to right tackle. As a fifth-year senior in 2018, Risner shared Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year honors with two other players and garnered multiple All-American designations. He became the fourth offensive lineman in Big 12 history to earn first-team all-conference honors in three consecutive seasons.