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Vikings special teams coordinator calls Ameer Abdullah ‘an outstanding returner’

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The Detroit Lions running back and kick returner received a big compliment from a division rival.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images

The NFL changed its kickoff rules for the 2016 season; touchbacks on kickoffs will result in the ball being placed to the 25-yard line instead of 20. This could result in a wide variety of changed strategies. Teams may choose to try and kick the ball a little shorter, hoping to stop a return before the 25, while others may be content continuing to kick the ball out of the endzone.

The Minnesota Vikings special teams coach, Mike Priefer, was asked about his strategy on Monday and ended up giving Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah a big compliment in the process:

If you can’t read that, it states:

“If it’s a great returner, we’re going against Ameer Abdullah, who I think’s an outstanding returner in Detroit, if it’s early in the game we might want to put it out of the endzone if we’re at Detroit or at our place.”

Abdullah was statistically one of the best kick returners in the NFL in 2015. He led the league in return yards and was second in yards per return (29.1). His 104-yard kickoff return in Green Bay was huge in turning the game in Lambeau in the Lions’ favor.

While it’s disappointing to hear that the Vikings may be taking away that part of his game entirely, it is also interesting to hear that Abdullah is considered a big threat by a divisional rival.

Abdullah is still recovering from shoulder surgery he had in January. He is participating in training camp, but he’s wearing the no-contact red jerseys. According to Dave Birkett, Abdullah has also been taking punt return reps during camp.