Finding a second punt returner to push Marcus Sherels was a big priority for the Vikings in camp this year. Several men were tried and for awhile it looked like no one wanted to emerge. But now a viable candidate for the punt return/backup cornerback spot held down the last couple years by Sherels has emerged. That candidate is Bobby Felder.
Friday night in Buffalo, Felder made another strong case to be retained by the Vikings after final cutdowns. Felder was a big presence on special teams all night, making a couple of fantastic plays to help Jeff Locke pin the Bills deep, and also returning a punt 37 yards. The key with Felder however may not be his special teams prowess. The problem with Sherels isn’t his special teams value it’s his value as a corner. Felder has shown better coverage skills than Sherels, which coupled with his ST performance should be enough to vault him over Sherels and into a roster spot.
Tough situation for Sherels who has developed into an able punt return man over the past couple of years. But the fact is, every roster spot is precious. The Vikings clearly want their punt return man to have value at another position, maximizing his overall roster value. Felder has greater combined ST and defensive value than Sherels right now. So I expect Sherels will soon bee looking for work.