WR Darius Reynaud should resume his role returning punts for the Minnesota Vikings after missing the…
Notebook: Reynaud hurt by penalties
Punt returner Darius Reynaud was returning to action for the first time since he injured his hamstring in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers. Reynaud's final statistics for Sunday's game looked like this: four punt returns for a pedestrian 2.8-yard average.
It would have been much different if penalties didn't wipe out a couple of his returns.
On the first play of the second quarter against the Lions, Reynaud had a 30-yard return erased by an illegal block above the waist on Eric Frampton. It was one of the calls with which Childress disagreed.
"If we got sloppy with our hands or what have you, I'm interested to see the punt return stuff and interested to see if we lost contact. Eric Frampton is probably a Pro Bowl special teams guy and my look at it, I follow him all the way down the field, was that he never lost contact with that guy," Childress said after the game.
Frampton's penalty came on Reynaud's first attempt. He lost a yard on his second attempt, but he broke free on his third return for 20 yards … but that, too, came back because of a penalty. This time, Heath Farwell was called for holding and the Vikings lost 30 yards of field position while Reynaud lost his 20-yard return.
"A lot of young guys contributing in the special teams area, making very good plays in the special teams area, whether it's tackling (or) whether it's returning. I'm pleased with that," Childress said. "I was not pleased with the penalties. Those probably took 50 yards in returns off the table there, just in kind of setting the table for our offense."
Reynaud did have 50 yards of punt returns taken away from him because of the penalties. Without those, his 11 yards in punt returns would have turned into 61 yards and his 2.8-yard average would have been 15.25 yards – and that still would have been behind the 17.3-yard average he had entering the game.
Instead, Reynaud will have to settle for the confidence of his coaches.
"I thought he did a good job with the ball in his hands. He had some opportunities. What did he have – a 20 and 30 called back, really through no fault of his own," Childress said, saying Reynaud looked relaxed and explosive in his return to action. "He did, but he looked that way last week. That is kind of what we were waiting to see."
A DIFFERENT RUNNER
The Vikings' next opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, likely will have a different featured runner on Sunday in the Metrodome. Running back Julius Jones was diagnosed with a bruised lung after spending Sunday night in an Arizona hospital following a hit against the Cardinals.
"At this point, I'd say it's unlikely that he'd be cleared to play Sunday," Seahawks coach Jim Mora said.
Jones is the team's leading rusher with 392 yards, but in his absence Justin Forsett doubled his season output with a 123-yard game, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. The Vikings have the sixth-ranked run defense in the league.
The Seahawks are also dealing with the recent news that owner Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and also owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, was diagnosed earlier this month with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Scout.com's Chris Steuber couldn't decide who was better among the Vikings' big three playmakers on Sunday, so his award for "Best Individual Performance" went to the combination of Brett Favre, Sidney Rice and Adrian Peterson.
"Favre continues to prove the doubters wrong and is playing like a 30-year old rather than a 40-year old who's supposed to be past his prime," Steuber wrote. "… A huge benefactor of Favre's success this year is Rice. … And for the Vikings ground game, there's no question how elusive and explosive Peterson is."
Vikings receiver Bernard Bernard Berrian is spearheading an effort with several Minnesota professional athletes to increase donations to the Second Harvest Heartland. Berrian is making a $5,000 donation to provide 500 Thanksgiving turkeys to inner-city families in the Twin Cities and is challenging the community to put a turkey on every table this Thanksgiving by donating to the Second Harvest Heartland through Nov. 25 at www.2harvest.org.
Joining Berrian on Tuesday afternoon for the press conference and turkey distribution will be teammates Sidney Rice, Chester Taylor, Pat Williams, Jimmy Kennedy and Minnesota Wild players Derek Boogaard and James Sheppard.
Last year, the effort resulted in $45,000 in additional contributions to Second Harvest Heartland. For more information on Second Harvest Heartland and Berrian's Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway and Challenge, visit www.2harvest.org or call 651-484-5117.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
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