Within about thirty seconds of yours truly putting the finishing touches on the Minnesota Vikings’ most recent injury report, we got some confirmation on at least one of the walking wounded and their status for Sunday’s big game against the Chicago Bears.
#Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer indicated Marcus Sherels (foot injury) won't be available Sunday against Chicago. "Obviously, we’re going to miss Marcus and what he brings to the table,'' Priefer said.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) December 27, 2018
According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Vikings’ special teams coach Mike Priefer has already confirmed that punt returner extrordinaire Marcus Sherels will miss Sunday’s game at U.S. Bank Stadium. He suffered a foot injury in the game against the Detroit Lions last Sunday, and will not be ready to go when this Sunday comes around.
Sherels might not be what he was a couple of seasons ago, but he still has the ability to be very dangerous in the return game. . .witness his 70-yard momentum-swinging punt return against the Miami Dolphins a couple of weeks back. . .and his absence will leave the Vikings with a big issue at that spot.
Last week, after Sherels went out of the game, wide receiver Brandon Zylstra got the first opportunity to return punts, and he looked a bit shaky in the role. Later in the game, fellow receiver Chad Beebe went back to return punts, but it looks like he might miss Sunday’s game, too, as his hamstring injury has flared up again.
If the Vikings don’t feel comfortable with Zylstra back there again, I’m not sure what other options they have at the punt return spot. We know that Adam Thielen has returned punts in the past, and Ameer Abdullah might be able to fill the role as well. We’ll have to see which way the Vikings want to go with that.
Again, the Minnesota Vikings will be without punt returner Marcus Sherels on Sunday afternoon against the Bears, and that’s a big blow to the purple in a must-win game.
UPDATE: Priefer did add a bit of insight as to who could take Sherels’ place on Sunday.
#Vikings Mike Priefer said he's hoping Chad Beebe, who missed practice with a hamstring, can return punts Sunday. If not, Priefer said Brandon Zylstra "will do it.'' Priefer also named Holton Hill and Craig James as possibilities and Adam Thielen is "always an emergency backup.''— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) December 27, 2018