If second-year running back Aveion Cason is returning punts in the Lions game at Minnesota, it won't be because it's his first choice. Cason says he's willing to do whatever he's asked but punt returns are not what he likes best.
"I only did punt returns as a freshman and after that I didn't do it anymore," said Cason. "I don't like punt returns. "I returned a lot of punts my freshman year (Illinois State). Actually, I had five for touchdowns. But it seemed like the ball was coming right to me, it seemed I had a lot of time.
"But it just seems like it's a whole lot tougher here in the NFL than it was in college. Those guys are getting down there a whole lot faster."
Because of injuries, however, Cason might find himself returning punts as well as kickoffs. The Lions' top returner -- Desmond Howard -- has a neck injury, second-year wide receiver Larry Foster has a hip injury and head coach Marty Mornhinweg prefers keeping wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim off the return team unless it's an emergency situation.
That could mean a lot of return duty for Cason.
"To me it seems like the punts stay in the air a little bit longer than the kickoffs," Cason explained. "On kickoffs I feel like I have more time to see what I can do.
"It seems I have a lot more time on kickoff returns than on punt returns, to make a move or to make somebody miss. With kickoffs I have four guys in front of me -- the blocking wall -- but with (punts), those guys are coming."