EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings have (again) signed Marcus Sherels to their roster, the team announced Tuesday.
Sherels spent nine seasons with the Vikings after originally signing with the team in 2010 as an undrafted free agent.
He stepped in as the Vikings primary punt returner in 2011 and never looked back. From 2011-19, Sherels returned 231 punts for 2,447 yards (10.6 average) and five touchdowns. He also returned 53 kickoffs for 1,350 yards (25.5 average).
In 2018, he averaged 12.0 yards per punt return for the Vikings, which included a 70-yard sprint for a touchdown against the Dolphins in Week 15.
Sherels signed with the Saints as a free agent this spring and spent the offseason and training camp in New Orleans. He was released by the Saints on Sept. 1.
View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.
Here are five things to remember about Sherels:
1. A league and franchise leader
Sherels has five times ranked in the top 10 for punt return average (2013-14; 2016-18) and twice in the top five.
In 2016, his 13.9 yards per return ranked second in the NFL behind Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill (15.2).
He ranked third in 2013 with 15.2 yards per return, a franchise record for a single season.
2. Big play against the Bears
Sherels played a big role in the Vikings 23-20 win over the Bears at Soldier Field in 2015.
Late in the first quarter, Sherels returned a punt return 65 yards for a touchdown. The highlight-reel play gave the Vikings a 7-3 lead over the Bears and helped Minnesota win at Chicago for the first time since 2007.
The score was Sherels’ third of his career and broke a Vikings record he shared with Mewelde Moore and David Palmer.
Sherels has played the Bears 14 times and has averaged 26.4 yards per punt return, which is the fourth-most among opponents he’s faced.
3. Minnesota native
Sherels hails from Rochester, Minnesota, and was a hometown favorite of fans during his first nine seasons with the Vikings.
He attended John Marshall High School, where he played on both sides of the ball – running back and wide receiver on offense as well as defensive back. As a senior, he rushed for more than 1,000 yards, including racking up 100-plus yards in seven of nine games.
Sherels joins fellow Minnesota natives Adam Thielen (Detroit Lakes) and C.J. Ham (Duluth) on the Vikings roster.
4. Former Golden Gopher
Sherels initially joined the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers as a walk-on but earned a scholarship. He recorded four career interceptions with the Gophers and returned a fumble 88 yards for a touchdown during the 2009-10 season.
Sherels finished his collegiate career with 106 tackles (79 solo).
His older brother, Mike Sherels, also played for the University of Minnesota and later served as a linebackers coach for the Gophers.
5. Committed to the community
Sherels has shown an ongoing commitment to the Twin Cities community, particularly through his involvement with the NFL’s Crucial Catch campaign.
He has consistently partnered with the American Cancer Society and the Vikings to support individuals currently battling cancer as well as survivors, and he is a regular attender at the team’s annual Crucial Catch Luncheon, which takes place in October.
Sherels also teamed up with Saints punter Thomas Morstead on two separate occasions to raise charitable funds.