Poll Of The Week

POLL OF THE WEEK: Flash Back To Return Duties

The Vikings look like a team plenty capable of putting points on the scoreboard.  The first two preseason games under Norv Turner have been encouraging, Adrian Peterson will be ready to do his thing in Week One, and Cordarrelle Patterson will once again be returning kicks.

Actually, that last part is speculation at this point, and an item worthy of debate.

As a rookie, Patterson established himself as the NFL’s most electric kick returner last season, and regularly gave the Vikings offense an advantage via stellar field position.  He ended up returning 43 kickoffs for 1,393 yards (32.4 yard average) and two scores.

Patterson hasn’t been returning kicks in the preseason, as it is one of the quickest ways to get a player injured in the modern NFL, but Mike Zimmer said last month that he was still the guy.  Given Patterson’s increased role and prominence in the offense, however, some might argue that his usage on special teams should be restricted.

Thus, our “Poll of the Week” will hopefully lead to some interesting debate in the comments section.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. We need him on returns. The advantage we had on offense last year from consistently getting very good field position off of kick returns needs to be the same case this year as well.

  2. I think at certain times it would be prudent to give him a shot, but I wouldn’t want him doing it full time..especially if Thielen or Banyard make the team. Neither is anywhere close to as electric as Patterson is of course, but considering the injury possibility is a lot higher on returns than on any other play..throw a “less important” guy out there who has shown a capability to do returns.

    That said, I’m not sold on McKinnon doing kickoffs right now..he hasn’t shown the vision required to see the blocks forming down-field. Hopefully it will come, because it’s similar to the vision a RB needs to navigate the trenches.

  3. “it is one of the quickest ways to get a player injured in the modern NFL” – I have seen this statement before, but I wonder if there is any stats for this. I have seen players get hurt on kick return, but it is usually blockers. How often does the returner get injured? I speculate that the risk of injury is sufficiently low to take the risk considering the game changing ability of Flash returning kicks.

    Adam, do you have any stats on this?

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Just don’t recall many returners being injured.
      However, I voted ‘Limited capacity’ just because I have a hunch Adam DOES have the stats.

  4. Maybe not long-term injuries like a torn ACL, but a concussion is a big possibility when guys are running full speed for 60+ yards trying to put a hit on the returner.

    1. Again Tenpinshooter…. are you assuming this or do you have stats? This is a common talking point, but I’m starting to wonder if everyone says this just because others say it. Or, is there proof?

  5. Let him return full time. Half the time teams don’t dare kick it to him anyway – we get the field position without him even needing to touch the ball.

  6. I think he should remain in his role on ST. Sure there is risk of injury but how many teams will intentionally kick it to him anyway? If a kicker is not 100% sure he can get it out of the back of the end zone you know he is gonna pooch it. We need the field position.

  7. Yes, even if for no other reason 1) they will want to kick away from him and in those games he wont likely get hurt and 2) we are putting more return cabable players into our return team lie-up vs bigger blockers just for when they kick away from CP if they dont put him in this is pointless.

  8. I don’t have statistics specific to the return man, no, but the kickoff returns have traditionally been regarded as two to three times more likely to result in injury than a regular football play. The statistics regarding injuries in the NFL are always suspect, anyways, as injuries have become something politicians and lawyers are very interested in.

    Even harder to find would be a good statistical backing for CP84’s current situation as the NFL has only recently instituted changes to the game aimed at minimizing the quantity of kickoff related injuries. They eliminated the wedge and changed the kickoff location. This is supposed to have created a safer play and is supposed to be backed by statistics showing that.

    So, yes, my statement is perhaps partly unfounded, I’ll admit that. I do, though, think it is kind of common sense to football observers that the kickoff return puts a player in a situation more prone to injury. To support the claim one only has to point to last weekend’s Isaiah Pead injury.

    I agree with those saying his mere presence gives us the advantage even if they don’t kick it to him. He should be back there returning kicks still, in my opinion.

  9. Football is about field position,and Cordarelle gives us the best chance to achieve good field position.