Sherels makes a solid case to win Vikings roster spot after big game

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 30, 2013 - 1:48 AM

The grieving former Gopher returned a kickoff 109 yards for a score and also snared an interception.

 

Don’t tell Marcus Sherels that the Vikings’ fourth and final preseason game was meaningless.

Fighting for a roster spot while grieving the death of his father, Sherels returned a kickoff 109 yards and intercepted a pass in span of 3 minutes, 16 seconds in the third quarter to make a strong case that he deserves a roster spot.

Sherels’ double dose of highlights helped the Vikings avoid a winless preseason with a 24-23 victory against the Tennessee Titans at Mall of America Field.

The Vikings finished the preseason 1-3 and now turn their sights on the Sept. 8 opener in Detroit. The Vikings must trim their roster to 53 by Saturday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

On a night devoted strictly to evaluating backups and players on the bubble, Sherels delivered an emotional performance that drew praise throughout the locker room.

“For him to come out and play the way he did tonight tells you a lot about Marcus’ heart and his character,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said.

Sherels, a former Gopher, has endured a difficult training camp while coping with his father’s death. His dad, Ben, died of cancer on the eve of the first preseason game in early August. Marcus missed the third preseason game in San Francisco this past Sunday as his family held his father’s funeral.

Sherels told Frazier in a private meeting that he was concerned about missing the game because he is fighting for a roster spot. Frazier’s words eased his mind.

“Nothing is more important than being there with your mother and brothers and sisters during that time,” Frazier said.

Said Sherels of their talk: “It was awesome. I am glad I made that decision.”

Sherels has earned deep respect inside the organization because he’s a perpetual underdog who continues to finds ways to make the team. He began his career as a long shot and he starts each training camp on the bubble.

“It just seems like every year he’s one of those guys you’re wondering if he’s going to make it this time,” Frazier said. “[You’re wondering], who is going to push him and maybe take his spot on the roster?”

Sherels has faced tight competition from Bobby Felder for the punt returner job and backup cornerback. Felder was one of the biggest surprises in preseason — particularly as a returner — but he was carted to the locker room with a sprained ankle in the fourth quarter.

Sherels already had made his case by then. He took the second-half kickoff 9 yards deep and found a wide lane along the sideline for a clear path to the end zone. A few minutes later, he intercepted a pass near midfield.

“Everybody loves the way Marcus competes,” Frazier said. “We were all pulling for him. He was playing with a heavy heart. To see him make those plays, our whole sideline was just jubilant to see him come out and play the way he did knowing what’s on his mind and what this week has been like for him.”

As expected, the Vikings rested their starters and even key backups. The Titans gave their starting quarterback Jake Locker and his first-team offensive line one series before calling it a night.

The game had a scary moment in the second quarter when Vikings offensive guard Seth Olsen took a knee to the head and was removed from the field on a cart. Olsen was blocking on a screen pass and was kneed in the head by Tennessee linebacker Scott Solomon. Afterward, the Vikings were relieved to learn that he suffered only a concussion.

  • related content

  • Lineman Seth Olsen is OK after being carried off the field

    Friday August 30, 2013

    The 27-year-old reserve guard hit his head on a Titans player’s knee while blocking, and had his neck snap back.

  • Former Vikings players eager to find out NFL settlement details

    Friday August 30, 2013

    The NFL has reached a preliminary settlement with thousands of former players who sued the league over brain injuries sustained while playing.

  • Photo gallery: Vikings 24, Tennessee 23

    Thursday August 29, 2013

    The Vikings squeezed out a one-point victory over the Titans in the preseason finale.

  • VikesCentric: Four who flashed vs. Tennessee

    Thursday August 29, 2013

    Who stood out in the Vikings' final preseason game? VikesCentric breaks it down.

  • The Minnesota Vikings won their first game of the preseason with a 24-...

  • Vikings quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson (4) threw a short pass for a touchdown in the second quarter.

  • Vikings receiver Rodney Smith caught a pass for a 28-yard gain while defended by Alterraun Verner in the first quarter.

  • The Titans’ Jalen Parmele had his helmet tore off by Collins Ukwu.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close