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Former Vikings Roundup: Jerick McKinnon, Daniel Carlson Shine in Wild Card Round

McKinnon had his biggest game in years to help the Chiefs blow out the Steelers.

The Vikings aren't participating in this year's playoffs, but a number of former Vikings were in action during wild card weekend. Here's a rundown of those players and how they did, starting with a few notable performances.

Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs RB (Vikings 2014-17)

McKinnon, a third-round pick in 2014, had some nice moments in a Vikings uniform, most notably a 991-yard season in 2017 after Dalvin Cook tore his ACL. He then signed a big contract with the 49ers, but knee injuries derailed his next two seasons. McKinnon had a solid season for San Francisco in 2020, then signed with the Chiefs this year and saw just 25 touches in the regular season.

But with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams injured, McKinnon was called upon as Kansas City's feature back in their wild card game against the Steelers. He came through in a big way with 142 total yards and a touchdown on 18 touches. It was McKinnon's first 100-yard outing since the NFC Championship loss to the Eagles in his final game as a Viking.

Daniel Carlson, Raiders K (Vikings 2018)

All Carlson has done since being cut by the Vikings two games into his rookie season is develop into one of the best kickers in the NFL. He has made 73 of 78 field goal attempts over the past two years and ended this season by hitting 27 straight. Carlson went 5 of 5 with a game-winner against the Chargers that got the Raiders into the playoffs, and went 4 for 4 in their loss to the Bengals on Saturday. It's a tough one for Vikings fans because they could've used a kicker like that, but it's tough to know if he would've become the kicker he is without being cut by Minnesota and how he responded to that.

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Stefon Diggs, Bills WR (Vikings 2015-19)

It wasn't a huge game for Diggs — three catches for 60 yards — but it didn't need to be in Buffalo's stomping of the Patriots. The NFL's leading receiver in 2020 put up another big season as Josh Allen's No. 1 target this season, but had 400 fewer yards than Minnesota's Justin Jefferson. That trade worked out for both sides.

Other former Vikings in action in the wild-card round

  • Raiders DE Yannick Ngakoue
  • Eagles S Anthony Harris
  • Eagles S Marcus Epps
  • Cowboys S Jayron Kearse
  • 49ers RT Tom Compton
  • Chiefs CB Mike Hughes

Bengals RT Riley Reiff is injured and CB Trae Waynes didn't play despite being active.

McKinnon, Diggs, Compton, Hughes, and Titans FB Khari Blasingame will be in action next weekend in the divisional round.

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