Vikings All-Pro defender reportedly taking punt return reps
By Adam Patrick
Minnesota Vikings veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson reportedly took some punt return reps during the team’s practice on Wednesday.
Before signing with the Minnesota Vikings for the first time last year, veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson spent the first 10 seasons of his NFL career as a member of the Arizona Cardinals.
During his rookie year with the Cardinals, Peterson was the team’s primary punt returner. In his very first season in the league, he turned an astounding four punt returns into touchdowns, and he averaged 15.9 yards per return.
Peterson remained Arizona’s punt returner for a few more years, but he hasn’t returned a punt since the 2018 season. On Thursday, however, it was revealed that the veteran cornerback could potentially be in the running to be Minnesota’s next punt returner.
Will Patrick Peterson be the punt returner for the Minnesota Vikings in 2022?
During an episode of SKOR North’s “Mackey & Judd” on Thursday, KSTP’s Darren Wolfson was discussing the Vikings’ recent acquisition of wide receiver Jalen Reagor.
Wolfson mentioned that he’s assuming Reagor is going to be Minnesota’s No. 1 punt returner this season, but then he also revealed two players that took some punt return reps during the team’s practice on Wednesday (starts around the 14:18 mark of the episode)
"“In practice [on Wednesday], it was K.J. Osborn and Patrick Peterson returning punts.”"
That’s right, the Vikings’ 32-year-old cornerback was taking some punt return reps earlier this week.
What does this mean? For now, Peterson was likely just filling in until Reagor was cleared to practice. Same for K.J. Osborn, who was Minnesota’s punt returner for most of the 2020 season. But it’s still interesting that Peterson, a former All-Pro returner, was getting some of these reps on Wednesday.
Maybe if the experiment with Reagor as their punt returner doesn’t work out after the first few weeks of the season, perhaps the Vikings turn to their No. 1 corner to take over returning punts for the rest of the 2022 campaign. At the very least, it’ll certainly be something to keep in mind this year.