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Updated: August 10th, 2014 7:29pm
Assuming he's healthy, Sherels has 'earned the job' at punt returner

Assuming he's healthy, Sherels has 'earned the job' at punt returner

by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com
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MANKATO, Minn. - Marcus Sherels wasn't even wearing pads during the Vikings first preseason game, so he didn't get to play in his first return to TCF Bank stadium.

The former Gopher has done enough in his three full seasons in the NFL to show special teams coordinator Mike Priefer he belongs on the team. Sherels played some cornerback last year due to injuries. He's more known for his punt returns.

After Sherels sat out the first preseason game with a hamstring injury, Priefer didn't hesitate to name him the punt returner -- assuming he's healthy.

"Well, a lot of it is Marcus's health. Obviously he couldn't go the other night, and hopefully he'll be fine," Priefer said. "Marcus has earned the job, and obviously he'll feel a little bit of a pressure from Adam [Thielen] or any other young returner, but Marcus is a guy that we've relied on heavily the last three years and we'll see him have continued success, I hope.

"So right now if you're asking me who's going to be the returner Week 1, I would expect it to be Marcus, depending on his health and how he performs the rest of the preseason."

Sherels isn't buying it.

"That doesn't change any of my approach," Sherels said, when told Priefer said he'd be the punt returner if healthy. "I'm just going to approach it the same and try to get better every day."

He returned to practice Sunday and said afterward that there's "great competition" all the time for his job. He also said he will be in the team's second preseason game, Saturday at home against the Cardinals.

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
In this story: Marcus Sherels
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