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Vikings sign former Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman

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Adrian Peterson's loss is Ronnie Hillman's gain.

With Peterson on the shelf, the Minnesota Vikings signed Hillman on Wednesday, coach Mike Zimmer announced.

An 11-game starter with the Super Bowl champions last season, Hillman was released by the Denver Broncos at final cuts earlier this month.

The fifth-year veteran will add tailback depth behind Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata following Wednesday morning's news that knee surgery will sideline Peterson for the next several months.

Zimmer confirmed that McKinnon will assume RB1 duties going forward. Considering Asiata's experience edge in Norv Turner's offense, Hillman will likely be relegated to the No. 3 role after rushing for 863 yards on 207 carries (4.2 YPC) in 2015.

"Obviously, it's hard to replace a running back like Adrian Peterson. He's the best running back in the NFL," quarterback Sam Bradford said Wednesday. "But it's kind of just the next man up ... I think we've got a great group of running backs. I think the guys behind him are eager for the opportunity."

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