Jordan Addison Could Have Hybrid Gig in 2023

One Viking Oddly
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Jordan Addison has experienced a topsy-turvy week peppered with good and bad events.

On July 20th, Addison was charged with reckless driving for speeding to the tune of 140 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, an event that he later explained involved a sickly dog. Addison has since apologized for the infraction.

Jordan Addison Could Have Hybrid Gig in 2023

And as Addison rejoined the football part of his job in Eagan this week, the USC alumnus could be on deck for hybrid duty as a rookie — a wide receiver and punt returner.

Have Hybrid Gig
Rookie minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison’s first practice as a Viking after being selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Addison played at the University of Pittsburgh and USC in college.

SKOR North’s Judd Zulgad tweeted Thursday, “Jalen Reagor, Thayer Thomas and Jordan Addison getting in pre-practice work catching punts from the JUGS machine.”

Until Thursday, Addison was nowhere near any Vikings fans’ minds for punt-returning work, but the arrangement could make sense, especially if Reagor doesn’t earn a 53-man roster spot at the end of August.

3 Rookies Could
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison returned 18 punts at the University of Pittsburgh and USC from 2020 to 2022, so the man has a little bit of experience. He averaged 12.2 yards per punt return collegiately and even returned two kicks at Pittsburgh — for 39 yards.

Last year, Minnesota employed the aforementioned Reagor at punt returner, but that experiment didn’t go well. Adofo-Mensah traded a 2023 7th-Round draft pick and a 2024 conditional 5th-Rounder for Reagor to the Philadelphia Eagles last August, hoping to squeeze untapped potential from the playmaker. To hedge the bet on the deal’s pricetag, Adofo-Mensah conducted a draft trade that netted a 2024 5th-Rounder from the Kansas City Chiefs, making the original Reagor deal next to free when the ledger balances.

Expensive Decision
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

And of all 31 NFLers who returned 15+ punts in 2022, Reagor’s 6.2 yards per return ranked 31st in the league. The return on investment, at least in 2022, was not ideal.

In fact, the Vikings ranked 27th leaguewide last year via yards per punt return — also known as sixth worst. Any improvement, whether from Addison, Thomas, or a rejuvenation from Reagor, would be welcomed.

On Addison, he’s also locked in a battle to determine his spot in the 2023 offense. As a 1st-Rounder, he should start at WR2 sooner than later, but the Vikings also employ K.J. Osborn, who is in no hurry to relinquish his hold on WR2. Meanwhile, presumptive WR4 Jalen Nailor has stolen the show in the early days of training camp, too.

from Vikings Rookie
Jordan Addison on the first day as a Viking after the team selected him in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Vikings chose Addison 23rd on April 27th, 2023, and he’ll immediately vie for a WR2 job next to Justin Jefferson.

Addison totaled 3,134 receiving yards at USC and Pittsburgh and 29 touchdowns in three seasons. In May, ESPN’s Mina Kimes opined about Addison’s upcoming role with the Vikings, “I think the offense is going to be good. The Addison pick…I was higher on him than some. I understand the questions about his size, but I really just think he has elite separation skills […] I think the Vikings and Kevin O’Connell, that offense is a really good landing place for Addison in terms of playing to his strengths, finding ways to hide his weaknesses.”

Perhaps he’ll splash some punt returning onto his resume, as well.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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