Who returns punts and/or kicks?
Who returns punts and/or kicks could be an indication of the roster status for players on the bubble, and that’s why it is a storyline to watch in Friday’s game.
Will incumbent players like Taiwan Jones (kicks) and T.J. Carrie (punts) be sent out first? If so, that would be a strong indication that they will be hanging onto those jobs. Or, will newcomers be given a shot first? Players like Antonio Hamilton, Jaydon Mickens, and many of the undrafted free agents at skill positions have return experience.
For example, the fifth wide receiver spot is wide open. A player like Johnny Holton or Mickens could win that job, but they would also help their case for making the roster if either has made enough of an impression to be sent out to return a kick or a punt.
I’m currently working on a 53-man roster projection, and the last few cuts are very, very close. It’s going to be a tough decision to make, and any edge one player can gain over another could be the deciding factor in who makes the team, and who doesn’t.
Returning kicks and/or punts could be that edge.
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