|ESPN.com: NFC North||[Print without images]|
|Following their win over the Panthers, the Vikings take a seat in the examination room.|
Did you have Marcus Sherels atop your list as the Vikings' surprise young player of the first half? I can't say I did. In winning the punt return job, and now assuming the kickoff return role while Percy Harvin and Lorenzo Booker nurse injuries, Sherels has proved to be a shifty and aggressive open-field runner. His 78-yard kickoff return Sunday didn't directly lead to a score but helped flip field position early in the Vikings' favor. Sherels ranks No. 13 in the NFL with an average punt return of 10.6 yards, including a 53-yard scamper in Week 3 against the Detroit Lions. The Vikings don't have a roster spot dedicated for a return specialist, so Sherels is making the most of his opportunity thus far.