Spoiler: Tyler Ervin will score two return touchdowns in 2020.
They needed him to help avoid putting up the NFL’s worst-ever single-season return yard numbers. But he provided much more than that.
Ervin single-handedly turned a weakness on special teams into a strength, earning him a new contract this offseason.
Ervin can be difference-maker for Packers
Ervin should see an increased number of snaps on offense this season now that he has an offseason to become more familiar with Matt LaFleur’s scheme. LaFleur also has the opportunity to find ways to get Ervin on the field.
But he’ll also be a difference-maker for the Packers on special teams.
Ervin has the chance to be the Packers’ best returner since Micah Hyde. Hyde was particularly dominant in 2014 when he returned two punts for touchdowns, one in the division-winning victory over the Detroit Lions in the regular season finale.
Ervin broke out a few big returns last season including a 45-yard kickoff return against the Chicago Bears in December.
He averaged 9.6 yards on punt returns in the regular season with the Packers and 26.7 yards on kickoff returns. Ervin made an impact when the Packers needed it the most as they were set for a historically bad season in the return game.
Ervin earned a new contract, and he now has the chance to build on last season. With his vision to find space and his speed to run past defenders, in a full season with the team, it’s only a matter of time before he returns a punt or kickoff all the way for a touchdown.
My prediction is that he’ll finish 2020 with two return touchdowns. And even when he’s not scoring TDs, Ervin can help the Packers offense enter the game with good field position.