It is disheartening that Chad Beebe was hurt on Sunday and his status for the remainder of the season is up in the air, but this could end up being a blessing in disguise for the Vikings.
Beebe really hasn’t brought anything to the punt return game for Minnesota in their three games this year. Not only has he not busted off a long one, but he has been very shaky when catching punts.
In Week 2 against the Packers, Beebe double-clutched a few punts, and even triangle hands caught one, which was very bizarre. Last week against the Raiders, he took the next step and muffed one. Thankfully, Vikings corner Kris Boyd was alert and jumped on the loose ball before the Oakland was able to.
Beebe’s injury can open the door for someone else to become the Vikings punt returner this season and possibly be an upgrade in the process.
The two most likely candidates were Bisi Johnson and Ameer Abdullah, but Minnesota just re-signed fan favorite Marcus Sherels on Tuesday. Sherels’ experience and the fact that he’s a very good punt returner make him the clear front runner to return punts for the Vikings against the Bears on Sunday.
Whoever ends up being the punt returner for Minnesota in Week 4 needs to do a better job than what Beebe did during the team’s first three games. Not only in securing the football, but in being a threat to bust off a long one whenever they get a chance as well.