During every training camp young players – often times undrafted players, too – stand out in practice and then perform well in a preseason games, and they do it to such an extent that they end up challenging for a spot on the 53-man roster. One example of that from this year’s training camp was CB Marcus Sherels.
Whether it be in 7-on-7 passing drills or even full team portions of practice, Sherels seemed to be around the ball a lot and whenever he got his hands on it, he made a play. Then in the Vikings preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sherels grabbed an INT and returned it 64 yards for a TD. That play cemented Sherels’ status as an “up and comer” on the Vikings roster and, ultimately, Sherels did in fact make the final roster.
On Sunday against the Lions, Sherels proved that he’s more than a training camp or preseason standout. He can make a difference in the regular season, too.
Late in the 1st half with the Vikings holding a 13-0 advantage, the Lions offense was forced off the field and into a punting situation. Sherels fielded the punt at the Minnesota 21-yardline. He then proceeded to dance around and dart through the Lions punt coverage team and raced deep into Lions territory, where P Ryan Donahue grabbed his facemask and slowed him enough to let Maurice Stovall bring him down on the Detroit 26.
The end result was a 53-yard punt return that put the Vikings in position to score a TD three plays later and take a 20-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. Obviously the Vikings went on to lose the lead and lose the game, but the point is that play by Sherels represented another step forward in his development as an NFL player. Oh, and for what it’s worth, Sherels added a pair of special teams tackles to his effort on Sunday.
With the Vikings making the commitment to pay big contracts to star players such as Chad Greenway and Adrian Peterson, it’s great to see the scouting staff find players such as Sherels and it’s even greater to see a player such as Sherels deliver on the promise we saw in the preseason.
Tags: Marcus Sherels
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