Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill twice lined up to return punts in last weekend’s victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
He didn’t field the ball either time. But that didn’t mean he failed to make an impact.
Hill twice dropped back in the fourth quarter and Britton Colquitt twice punted the ball out of bounds to avoid Hill, who returned four punts for touchdowns in his first three seasons.
The first punt traveled 46 yards and proved to be a good idea. The second one, not so much.
From the 18, Colquitt shanked a 27-yarder. The Chiefs took over at the 45. They went backward before advancing and wound up at the Vikings’ 26 to set up Harrison Butker’s game-winning 44-yard field goal.
“We got what we wanted,” Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. “If they kick it to him, he can get a touchdown. So pick your poison.”
De’Anthony Thomas, no longer with the team, and rookie Mecole Hardman have the been the Chiefs’ primary punt returners this season. Hill lined up in that position for the first time this season Sunday, but don’t expect him to do so again this week when the Chiefs visit the Tennessee Titans.
That is, unless the circumstances are similar.
“You have to pick your spots, and that was a good spot,” Toub said.
Toub said concern over Hardman’s fumbling issues — he’s lost two on kickoff returns this season, including one Sunday — wasn’t a factor in the decision.
“Right now, he’s making rookie mistakes,” Toub said. “We’re going to keep coaching him. Every mistake he’s made is all coachable, and he’s going to be able to correct. He’s a darn good returner.”