Marcus Sherels made several returns on Thursday night, but one stood out above the rest in his first preseason action of 2016.
With under two minutes remaining in the Vikings-Seahawks matchup, the game was all tied up at 11 and creeping closer and closer to overtime. That's when Sherels stepped up.
Seattle quarterback Trevone Boykin dropped back on second-and-11 and made a short pass to the left intended for E.Z. Nwachukwu. Sherels read the play and snagged the interception just past midfield before taking it 53 yards down the sideline and into the end zone.
"[Marcus] does a lot of things for us, and he does a nice job," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. "It was nice to see him be rewarded tonight – he made a good play."
A man of few words, Sherels offered the play-by-play of his pick-six following the game:
"He threw to me, I intercepted it and I scored a touchdown," Sherels said. "It's always fun."
The Rochester native stayed back in Minnesota for personal reasons during the Vikings first preseason duel against the Bengals last week. In his return to action, he made up for lost time and contributed in multiple ways.
In addition to his highlight-reel play on defense, Sherels continued his role on special teams. Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer split return duties between Sherels and former Golden Gophers teammate Troy Stoudemire. Sherels ended the evening with a 28-yard kickoff return and a 14-yard punt return.
"Marcus did a nice job," Zimmer said. "You know, he's a kid that does an awful lot of stuff – he's a punt returner, he's a gunner, he's a nickel back, he's a corner."
Sherels was just happy to be back.
"It's fun coming out and competing with my teammates," Sherels said. "Being with the team again, the support has been great, and everyone has been good to me.
"It's fun to come out here and come away with the win," he added.
Sherels wasn't the only Minnesotan to help his home-state team net its second consecutive win of the preseason.
View images from the Vikings' second preseason game of 2016 as they took on the Seahawks in Seattle.
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said during training camp that Detroit Lakes native Adam Thielen comes back every season better than the year before, and the receiver continues to prove Bridgewater's theory. Thielen led the Vikings in receiving Thursday, finishing the game with 61 yards off of four catches.
In Minnesota's sixth drive of the game, rookie quarterback Joel Stave connected with Thielen three times, including a third-and-10 situation in which Thielen made a 17-yard reception to give the Vikings a first down.
In that same series, Thielen made an 8-yard reception and 18-yard play to give the Vikings another first down shortly before halftime.
Although Bridgewater didn't play in Seattle, backup quarterback Shaun Hill agreed with Bridgewater's evaluation of the third-year receiver.
"He's a great target for us," Hill said. "He makes a lot of great plays for us and some really tough catches. He showed that tonight."