Thank you for submitting questions for this week's Vikings mailbag. You can always send questions to @Andrew_Krammer on Twitter or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen for answers on the weekly Access Vikings podcast or find them here on Friday mornings. Let's get to it.
Q: Who will return punts on Sunday? — @brennanmeyer
AK: Chad Beebe's three punt returns against the Panthers included a fair catch, getting rocked for not calling a fair catch and muffing the catch near the Vikings' goal line in the narrow win. Not ideal. But I wouldn't rush to expect a change. Coaches continue to speak highly of the third-year receiver, including special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf: "He's a good returner and he'll help us," Maalouf said Thursday. "He's going to make a big play at some point here in the near future." They need production from somewhere. The Vikings have 13 yards on nine punt returns this season, easily the fewest in the NFL. Rookie receiver K.J. Osborn is the only other player to return one in a game so far, and he was a healthy scratch last week after fumbling the opening punt return in the Nov. 22 loss to the Cowboys.
Q: What have you heard with Tajae Sharpe? For him being a "big signing" this season, he's rarely spotted. Is he a one and done or are there developmental plans in play with him? — @SnakeEyez1977
AK: Mike Zimmer left Sunday's win against the Panthers feeling like they could've played Sharpe "a little bit more" after he saw seven snaps against the Panthers. That was in the season's only game without Adam Thielen, so it's still not a good sign for Sharpe. He's been nothing more than veteran depth for coordinator Gary Kubiak, who has leaned on a three-receiver set of Thielen, Justin Jefferson and Chad Beebe, with Bisi Johnson mixed into the outside rotation. Those four could form a solid foundation with only Beebe, a restricted free agent, up for a new deal next year. Sharpe is set to be an unrestricted free agent, and he may want to go somewhere he can contribute.
Q: D.J. Wonnum was listed on a FOX graphic during the Carolina game as a possible rookie DPOY… would he actually be under consideration for that? — @MNDrew_Halunen
AK: It's not as crazy as even I first thought when fielding this question, but it's still not going to happen considering Washington's No. 2-overall pick Chase Young is still playing and seemingly doing decently. That might be enough for Young to win defensive rookie of the year. Colts safety Julian Blackmon has also put together an impressive season worth considering. Wonnum's production as a pass rusher ranks up there with fellow rookies like Young and San Francisco's Javon Kinlaw, but now Wonnum is dealing with back and ankle injuries that could interrupt his progress for at least this Sunday. This isn't to undersell his development, because coaches are excited about his progress in the wake of the Yannick Ngakoue trade.
The Vikings are much more likely to have the offensive rookie of the year in receiver Justin Jefferson, who is 82 receiving yards shy of becoming the 19th rookie — and first Viking since Randy Moss — since the NFL merger in 1970 to reach 1,000 receiving yards. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert could disrupt Jefferson's path to being the first receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014 named the AP's offensive rookie of the year.