Minnesota Vikings' cornerback Marcus Sherels excelled on Sunday as his team's punt returner. His contributions on special teams included two big punt returns in the first quarter to get the Vikings off to another strong start.
The first return was 23 yards after the Arizona Cardinals' first possession. Sherels' second return of 22 yards set up the first touchdown drive of the game, the first of four Vikings' touchdowns that quarter.
"I love being a punt returner," Sherels reported to the Post-Bulletin. "The guys do a great job of blocking and it's a great scheme."
Minnesota was finally able to hold on to their lead and won their first game of the season 34-10 over the Cardinals.
Here's a look at the performance of other Gophers in the National Football League and the Canadian Football League:
- Eric Decker, wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, recorded two receptions in Sunday's 29-24 loss to San Diego. Decker could be receiving from a new quarterback in the foreseeable future, given that Tim Tebow replaced Kyle Orton in the second half.
- Chicago Bears' running back Marion Barber recorded one rush attempt for three yards and one reception for seven yards in the Bears' 24-13 loss to the undefeated Detroit Lions.
- Tight end Matt Spaeth, also with the Bears, had one catch for eight yards in Chicago's Monday night loss.
- Dominique Barber, safety for the Houston Texans was active but did not record any statistics as the Raiders won an emotional game 25-20 after the passing of owner Al Davis.
- Logan Payne, wide receiver for the New York Jets, is still recovering from wrist surgery. The Jets fell to their rival New England 30-21.
- In addition to those who were on active rosters, three former Gopher players spent week five of the NFL season on the practice squad for their respective teams. Offensive lineman Dominic Alford is on the practice team for the Cleveland Browns, cornerback Traye Simmons practices with the San Diego Chargers, and last year's quarterback Adam Weber is with the Denver Broncos.
- In the CFL, wide receiver Arland Bruce had six receptions for 92 yards and one touchdown in the BC Lions' win on Saturday. The victory was the team's seventh straight win. Ernie Wheelwright, wide receiver for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, remains on the nine-game injured list with a knee injury.