Sometimes you need a break to get a break in the NFL. Former Boise State running back Alexander Mattison, drafted in the third round by the Minnesota Vikings, just received his opportunity.

The Vikings have suspended starting running back Roc Thomas for three games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

What that means for Mattison is more reps in practice and more playing time on the field during the exhibition season. When you are trying to break into an NFL starting lineup this is the kind of window you need to show what you can do.

Right now Mattison is one of 34 players with ties to Idaho currently on NFL rosters. Of those 34, 23 are former Boise State players.

The first big cut in the NFL comes August 31st.