The Vikings released cornerback Marcus Sherels, the franchise’s all-time leading punt returner, on Tuesday, the team announced.
The move comes after the 32-year-old Sherels was replaced at punt returner during Sunday’s win in Detroit by cornerback Mike Hughes, who had two returns for nine yards against the Lions.
“He catches the ball well. He’s shifty, he’s got good acceleration,” head coach Mike Zimmer said of Hughes. “I think he makes good decisions.”
Sherels returned on Sept. 24 after the Vikings placed receiver and punt returner Chad Beebe on injured reserve. He fielded six punts for 33 yards in three games for the Vikings. Sherels was a healthy scratch in Detroit for what he said was the first time of his NFL career.
He leaves the Vikings with a franchise-leading 2,480 punt return yards and five touchdowns.
No corresponding move has yet been made, but cornerback Holton Hill is set to be activated from the reserve/suspended list next Monday. Hill, the second-year corner, is near the end of his second four-game suspension of this season for PED and substance abuse violations.
The Vikings could also promote a receiver from the practice squad since Adam Thielen’s hamstring injury could keep him sidelined Thursday against Washington. Thielen did not practice Tuesday.