EAGAN, Minn. – The locations of their lockers have changed, but that's about it.
Punt returner Marcus Sherels and wide receiver Laquon Treadwell were back in the Vikings locker room Wednesday, and both said it felt like home.
"This is home for me. It's always been home, and it always will be," said Sherels, a Rochester native. "It's good to be back. The guys have embraced me with open arms. I'm ready to help contribute any way I can.
"It kind of feels like I never left," he later added.
The team announced Tuesday that Sherels and Treadwell had been re-signed after short stints away from Minnesota. After playing nine seasons for the Vikings, Sherels joined the Saints this spring as a free agent but was waived just before the season. Treadwell, who was drafted by Minnesota in 2016, did not make the Vikings initial 53-man roster.
Both were contacted after receiver Chad Beebe suffered an ankle injury in Sunday's game that resulted in a move to Injured Reserve.
Treadwell said when he fielded the call with an opportunity to return to Minnesota, he "jumped for joy, a little bit, I'm not gonna lie. I was super geeked up."
The former – and now reunited – teammates shared about their past three weeks while not with a team. For both, being released was a foreign experience.
Sherels told reporters he had "a couple of workouts" with other teams after New Orleans but otherwise had been back in Minnesota staying in shape and getting healthy.
Treadwell returned to his hometown of Chicago after being released by the Vikings. He attended his grandmother's funeral service before celebrating his daughter's birthday the following weekend.
Spending time with family was appreciated, but Treadwell acknowledged the difficulty of not making the cut.
"It was tough. Being here three years, going on four, and I've been playing with these guys for a long time," Treadwell said. "This was like my second family, my brothers. We've been through a lot of battles, a lot of ups and downs together. They always have my back, and of course I've always had their backs, so it was hard for me to cope with for a little bit."
He explained that he reached out to coaches and players around the league for advice, including Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and former NFL receiver Brandon Marshall.
Zimmer passed along words of wisdom to Treadwell that, little did he know, the receiver would apply to his old stomping grounds just a week later.
"He was like, 'If you're going to go on a team, that's a fresh start – walk in with confidence. That's the type of guy I'd want on my team,' " Treadwell relayed. "He was giving me that if I was going to move forward in life and go somewhere else, [and now] I'm back here, that's my mindset. Just walking in here with confidence, and it's a fresh start for me.
"I'm going to have fun with it, I'm going to help this team win and do everything I've got to do," he added.
Zimmer said during his Wednesday morning press conference that he believes Treadwell has "rededicated himself" to what he needs to do.
"I think it's always been important to him, but I think maybe he might have went about it the wrong way," Zimmer said. "I just tried to give him some insight on what he has to do moving forward. I'm hopeful to see that."
Asked if he was surprised that it took him until through Week 3 to find a landing place, old or new, Treadwell said he understands the business and was trusting the process. He did disclose that he had visits with the Lions and Bills right after being released by the Vikings.
"Coaches and teams, they know what they want, and they've got a core group of guys," Treadwell said. "Getting released right before Week 1, for me, if I was in the other seat, it would be hard for me to just put a guy on my team. I understood that, and I knew patience was a virtue. So, I was just waiting on a call and waiting on an opportunity, really."
Treadwell referenced a "new perspective" gained from visiting other teams and also speaking with fellow players who had previously gone through a similar experience or were walking through the situation concurrently.
"Coming back here, it's all about helping the team win," Treadwell said. "That's what my perspective was going to be with any team, but I'm honored and I'm grateful to be back here, and I just look forward to helping the team win."
Treadwell and Sherels have kept tabs on the Vikings through their first three games.
"Yeah, these are my boys, so I was watching them and tuning in, but I was also watching every other team around the league. Just watching football," Treadwell said.
"I watched Dalvin [Cook] break away both times, I watched [Adam Thielen's] touchdown, and I'm knowing the plays, so it was pretty cool to see," he later added.
Sherels saw Beebe's injury against the Raiders and felt for him. He was asked if he recognized a possible opportunity for himself in that moment.
"No, I was thinking, 'I hope he's OK,' " Sherels said. "Chad's a great kid, great player. You never want to see anybody go down. But I got the call and stayed ready, because you never know."
It's been a whirlwind week, but Sherels and Treadwell are ready to go for the Vikings matchup against the Bears this weekend – coincidentally, in Treadwell's home city and at the venue where Sherels returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown to help Minnesota win at Soldier Field in 2015.
"God is good. I mean, I couldn't have planned it better," he said of the timing. "If the opportunity presents itself, I'll go out and I'll have a good game. That would be a good thing for the team."
Added Sherels: "They asked me if I was ready to go and I told them, 'Yes.' I'll just approach it like every game I have my whole career. I'll just be ready and when they need me, step up."