5 options to be the Minnesota Vikings’ 2019 punt returner

(Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Mike Hughes
(Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Mike Hughes /
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(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Chad Beebe - Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Chad Beebe /

Chad Beebe – WR

If Hughes isn’t healthy enough to open the season as the Vikings’ punt returner, the team might have to think outside of the box to fill the role. One of those other options could be second-year wide receiver Chad Beebe.

Beebe’s 2018 season was a roller coaster as he played well during the preseason, but he couldn’t make Minnesota’s active roster out of training camp. He was signed to the Vikings’ practice squad, however, and he was eventually promoted to the active roster ahead of the team’s Week 9 matchup with the Detroit Lions.

After three games in the lineup, Beebe injured his hamstring against the Chicago Bears in Week 11. The injury caused him to miss all but one of Minnesota’s remaining games in the season.

The 25-year-old could have less time on his hands if he can win the Vikings’ third wide receiver job for 2019. But if he doesn’t break through there, Minnesota lining him up at punt returner makes sense.

During his sophomore and junior seasons at Northern Illinois, Beebe averaged 8.34 yards per punt return. So he has experience in the role.

His 4.73 40-yard dash time would be a concern. But if his PlayerProfiler comparison of Wes Welker (who averaged 9.8 yards per punt return during his 12-year career) is accurate, Beebe could have sneaky success if given the opportunity.