Tuesday, December 6, 2016

marcus sherels

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All business for Zimmer and the Vikings

Key names out vs. Seahawks
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings were without a few starters last week, and that will be the case against the Seattle Seahawks tonight. Many of the names on this evening’s inactives list should play next week in what many consider to be a regular season “tune up.” But for now, a cautious approach means the Vikings will take the field with a lineup that’s very different from the one we’ll see in Week 1.

The full list, as well as starter changes, includes:

The only new addition is Tre Roberson, the quarterback-turned-cornerback who impressed in his first action last Friday. Gone from the list are Adrian Peterson, Marcus Sherels, and Terence Newman. Peterson isn’t expected to play, as he rarely suits up for the preseason, but Neman will return and likely start at left cornerback. Sherels, the team’s designated punt returner, may field a few kicks tonight.

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Minnesota Vikings Jerick McKinnon Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt is cool and all, but he’s no Jerick McKinnon. I open the show with an opining love letter to #21 and how I hope the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings will actually use him this year. Then we turbo through a couple roster battles that I’m keeping an eye on. There’s a lot of suss out over the next few weeks for the Vikes.

Battle Talking Points Include
• Joel Stave vs Taylor Heinicke
• Matt Asiata vs CJ Ham
• Adam Thielen vs Jarius Wright
• David Morgan II vs Rhett Ellison
• Willie Beavers vs Everyone
• Scott Crichton vs Everyone
• Emmanuel Lamur vs Edmond Robinson
• Marcus Sherels vs Everyone
• Antone Exum vs Jayron Kearse

All that and other “Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I promise I had this idea to write an article about punt returner Marcus Sherels finally having very concrete job security before Sid Hartman decided to pen his article today about the exact same thing, but whatever, I’ll give him all the credit.

That’s only fair considering I’m only 31 years old and Sid was still was quicker to the punch.

Every year, it seems, Vikings fans collectively place punt returner Marcus Sherels on the roster bubble throughout training camp. Some, in fact, become convinced that he will surely be sent packing during the final cuts. Any Vikings fans out there that have only been following along for five years or less may actually believe this yearly ordeal to be a franchise-sanctioned tradition.

This year, however, things are very different.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This 10-part series focuses on the biggest questions facing the Vikings as they head into Mankato for their training camp festivities. Be sure to answer the first six questions HEREHEREHEREHERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

We only have three questions left, and this one is complex because it is hard to directly answer it without directly answering some others regarding roster makeup. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion that a Vikings special teams battle or two could end up being the talk of Mankato, and that a surprise is as likely there as anywhere else on the roster.

Before getting to the question (and the all-important poll), I wanted to take a quick look at the main guys on special teams as it stands… at the guys that currently have jobs to lose.

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VT QOTW

final 53-man roster for the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The bubble; the void at the bottom of an NFL roster where a player’s season can sink or swim. Minnesota Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels has made a living on the bubble, scraping his way onto the final 53-man roster like clockwork each year. Journeymen and undrafted free agents spend most of their careers on the edge, but they’re not the only ones in fear of the eventual ‘pop.’

When a team like the Vikings consistently builds through the draft and retains young talent each offseason, they make it more difficult for those at the bottom of the depth chart to stick around. Sometimes, it’s a matter of circumstances; when Rick Spielman uses a first round pick on a wide receiver, another will have to go to make room on the roster. Other times, it’s a matter of players wearing out their welcome; think Gerald Hodges last year, and possibly, Cordarrelle Patterson this offseason.

Front offices have to make sacrifices when constructing a roster. It’s the reality of life in the NFL, where starting positions are only guaranteed if your name is Adrian Peterson or Teddy Bridgewater. Spielman’s cuts, as they do each year, will include a few surprising names. Who, exactly? That’s what the Vikings Territory team is going to try and answer today!

Fill in the blank — ‘Player X’ will not make the final 53-man roster for the Vikings.

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