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Will Darrius Shepherd Return Punts Against Kansas City?

Darrius Shepherd was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver out of North Dakota state. The 23-year old in his first season is deep on the depth chart at wide receiver behind Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Geronimo Allison, Allen Lazard, and Jake Kumerow.

Shepherd has appeared in five games this season, but has only been targeted twice as a receiver, catching his lone pass for a single yard in the 24-22 in over the Lions on October 14. He’s had a steady role on special teams, but has struggled to produce. Shepherd hasn’t done well returning kicks this so far. In fact, his 16.3 average per kick return is the lowest on the NFL among players with more than one return. Shepherd has been even worse on punts, averaging -4.5 yards on two returns.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky noted that the Packers are looking to upgrade the kick return game for Sunday’s match up against the Kansas City Chiefs. One player who could fill the void is Tremon Smith, who the Chiefs waived on September 17. He played for the Packers for three weeks before being released, but is now on the practice squad and could return to the active roster in time to face his former team. Special teams coach said “we’ll see who’s available” when asked about Shepherd’s security as the kick returner. One must also wonder if Shepherd’s roster spot is in jeopardy.

Darrius Shepherd

Oct 14, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Justin Coleman (27) intercepts a pass after it was deflected by Green Bay Packers wide receiver Darrius Shepherd (10) in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

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Ed Rooney

Just a guy with too much free time trying to help out.

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5 Comments

  1. Kato October 27, 2019

    I would imagine his spot is in trouble. He isn’t bringing any value at receiver in a fairly full room there, and he has been terrible at not only returning kicks, but also the decision making aspect of it as well

  2. Howard October 27, 2019

    Remember Ed, the Packers also have Ryan Grant as a receiver. ;-).
    I could see Tremon Smith returning KOs and being used as a gunner/ KO coverage on STs, but not returning punts. Smith may provide more overall value than Sheppard on STs. The problem is who returns punts? I’m fairly certain last year proved not T. Williams or Alexander.
    So who is the punt returner? Ryan Grant, or maybe Josh Jackson, or one of the other long leg WRs? Not a lot of proven punt returners on the current roster, and that includes Sheppard.
    One thing about Tremon Smith that was said by Tyreek Hill. “I’m not the fastest guy in this locker room,” said Tyreek Hill last September. When asked, “Who is?” Hill replied, “Tremon Smith”. I think Hill was being nice, but it is not so bad being second fastest on a team that includes Tyreek Hill.

  3. Ferris October 27, 2019

    They could have me return kick offs, they return one every 6 weeks it seems.
    He is a liability and almost cost them the Detroit game himself. Good think the striped shirts were on GB side. Try someone else.

    1. PF4L October 27, 2019

      Lol……i don’t know where our special teams ranks in the league. But if you took away Scott’s punts, according to my eye test we’d be near rock bottom.

    2. KzooPackFan October 28, 2019

      Teams are intentionally kicking to just short of the goal line vs GB to try to tackle inside the 20 because our kick returns have been so bad.