Over the course of his Boise State football career, there’s no telling how many times Alexander Mattison heard running backs coach Lee Marks remind his players to hold the football high and tight.
The lesson paid off in Mattison’s NFL regular-season debut with the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
On first-and-10 from the Atlanta 18-yard line, Mattison broke off a 17-yard run and ran out of bounds at the 1 with both hands on the football as two Falcons defenders made diving plays for the ball. The Vikings scored two plays later and eventually won 28-12.
Does he regret not going for the touchdown?
“Out there on the field, it looks a little different sometimes,” Mattison told Vikings.com on Monday. “I thought I might have made a bad decision, could have done something different, but after going over the film, it was kind of a smart decision not to really lay out or go for the touchdown. But yeah, I just have to finish that run.”
Mattison finished the game with nine carries for 49 yards, including the Vikings’ longest running play of the day on a 23-yarder in the first quarter. In all, Mattison was on the field for 12 of the Vikings’ 53 plays, while fellow reserves Ameer Abdullah and Mike Boone lined up for a combined six plays. Starting running back Dalvin Cook racked up 111 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
The Vikings meet the Green Bay Packers in an NFC North showdown at 11 a.m. Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Ex-Vandal gets contract extension: Former Idaho offensive lineman Jesse Davis recently signed a three-year, $15 million contract extension with the Miami Dolphins. The deal included a $4 million signing bonus. Davis was undrafted in 2015 and didn’t play in a regular-season game until 2017. He became a part-time starter at three positions for the Dolphins in 2017 and played every offensive snap in 2018.
Below is a list of players with Idaho ties currently on an NFL roster or practice squad.
LB Kamalei Correa, No. 44 Tennessee Titans
DL Tyrone Crawford, No. 98 Dallas Cowboys
DB Donte Deayon, No. 38 Los Angeles Rams (practice squad)
QB Ryan Finley, No. 5 Cincinnati Bengals
DE DeMarcus Lawrence, No. 90 Dallas Cowboys
OL Charles Leno Jr., No. 72 Chicago Bears
RB Alexander Mattison, No. 25 Minnesota Vikings
C Matt Paradis (Council High), No. 61 Carolina Panthers
QB Brett Rypien, No. 4 Denver Broncos (practice squad)
CB Jamar Taylor, No. 24 Seattle Seahawks
S Darian Thompson, No. 23 Dallas Cowboys
ILB Tanner Vallejo, No. 50 Washinton Redskins
LB Leighton Vander Esch (Salmon River High), No. 55 Dallas Cowboys
WR Cedrick Wilson, No. 11 Dallas Cowboys (practice squad)
DL Billy Winn, No. 90 Denver Broncos (injured/reserve)
G/T Jesse Davis, No. 77 Miami Dolphins
LB Kaden Elliss, No. 55 New Orleans Saints
G Mike Iupati, No. 70 Seattle Seahawks
DE Benson Mayowa, No. 91 Oakland Raiders
RB Elijhaa Penny, No. 39 New York Giants
TE Josh Hill (Blackfoot High), No. 89 New Orleans Saints
QB Taysom Hill (Highland High), No. 7 New Orleans Saints