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Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers: #35

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A relatively easy choice

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The number 35 is another one that hasn’t been all that prominent in the history of the Minnesota Vikings. However, one member of the team has taken it to some pretty significant heights over the past few seasons. Considering how many times we’ve all expected him to get cut, that’s pretty impressive.

Marcus Sherels signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and made the practice squad. He was temporarily released from the practice squad, but re-signed later on that season. He made the club in 2011 as the primary punt returner, though he did see significant time in the secondary because of injuries.

While he doesn’t see time on defense anymore, Sherels has become the best punt returner in team history. Going into the 2017 season, he’s just 13 yards behind Leo Lewis for the all-time team lead in punt return yardage. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but considering that Lewis returned 193 punts as a Viking while Sherels has 169 returns thus far, it’s pretty impressive.

He’s tied with Cordarrelle Patterson and Percy Harvin for most return touchdowns in team history with five. However, while Harvin and Patterson got all of their return scores on kickoffs, Sherels’ scores have all come on punts, and nobody else in team history has more than two punt returns for scores in a career.

I think we’re finally to the point where we’ve stopped predicting that Sherels isn’t going to make the team. It may have taken some of us a few years, but we eventually learned our lesson. Sherels is, by far, the most productive member of the Vikings to ever wear the #35.

Vikings that have worn the number 35:

  • Doug Mayberry (1961 - 1962)
  • Bob Ferguson (1963)
  • Billy Harris (1969)
  • Robert Miller (1975 - 1980)
  • Kyle Morrell (1986)
  • Andre Thomas (1987)
  • Mike Slaton (1987)
  • Ronnie West (1992)
  • Chris Johnson (1996)
  • Ciatrick Fason (2005 - 2006)
  • Marcus Sherels (2011 - present)

Tomorrow we reach the number 34, ladies and gentlemen, where we might actually have to name He Who Shall Not Be Named. Should be fun.