5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins – Week 8

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /
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(Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Mike Hughes
(Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Mike Hughes /

Hughes will return a punt for a touchdown

With the Vikings needing to create room for another wide receiver on Thursday, Minnesota cut punt returner/special teams ace Marcus Sherels. While Sherels has been a steady contributor on special teams for the past decade, the move also signals their faith that Mike Hughes has fully recovered from his multi-ligament knee injury.

We’ve seen flashes of Hughes returning to his old form thanks to his reps at cornerback during the past couple weeks. But we have yet to see the electrifying return ability that he showed during his time at UCF.

During his lone season with the Golden Knights in 2017, Hughes had four return touchdowns (two kickoffs, one punt, one interception) which suggests he has a knack for taking it to the house with the ball in his hands.

That playmaking ability should come in handy against a Redskins team that has struggled on special teams this season. Coming into Thursday’s game, Washington ranked 24th in yards allowed per punt return as they are giving up an average of 9.1 yards per return.

Hughes likely won’t be asked to return kickoffs, but with a solid effort as a punt returner, that could come soon enough. This may be more of a shot in the dark, but Hughes has a good chance to break one on Thursday night.