Black and Blue all over: Harvin on punts?

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

Here’s something that NFL teams probably don’t want to hear: Minnesota might unleash rookie Percy Harvin as a punt returner later this season.

Vikings coach Brad Childress admitted as much during his Monday news conference. Harvin is a leading candidate for rookie of the year, in large part because of his 30.7-yard average as a kickoff returner. In his first eight NFL games, Harvin has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

“At some point you’ll have a chance to see him returning punts,” Childress said.

Harvin worked some as a punt returner during training camp but appeared much more comfortable on kickoffs. The Vikings are also using him heavily on offense as a slot receiver and occasionally as a running back. But it wouldn’t be surprising if the Vikings at least give him a chance to return a punt or two in a key game situation.

Darius Reynaud and Jaymar Johnson have handled the punt returning duties this season. In 2008, the Vikings rotated starting receivers Bobby Wade and Bernard Berrian there during the playoff drive.

Continuing around the NFC North: