6 free-agent returners the Vikings could sign in 2020

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Kenjon Barner
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Kenjon Barner /
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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Tyler Ervin
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Tyler Ervin /

Tyler Ervin

Tyler Ervin is a name Vikings fans could be familiar with as he most recently played for the hated Green Bay Packers. Ervin is a running back by trade, but he still finds himself employed by NFL teams because of his ability to return kicks and punts.

Ervin was drafted by the Houston Texans in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He was taken as a kind of an all-purpose back who could be dangerous in the passing game. Unfortunately, he blew out his knee early in his second season and almost a year later was released by the Texans. He played briefly for the Jacksonville Jaguars before getting picked up by the Packers.

Ervin still has plenty of speed and explosiveness. In just four games with Green Bay, he had 160 return yards including one that gained over 40 yards. He also returned 11 punts for 106 yards. It appears his knee is fully recovered and it should no longer be considered an issue.

Ervin wouldn’t challenge Alexander Mattison or even Mike Boone for playing time with Minnesota next season, but he would be a solid option to have on the roster in case of an emergency. Ervin isn’t the biggest name out there, but he would be a viable punt and kick returner for the Vikings and one who could be had at a price that would fit well in the team’s limited budget.