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With receiver Chad Beebe out because of torn ligaments in his ankle, the Vikings reached back into their recent past for some receiver depth before Sunday’s game against the Bears.

A NFL source confirmed an ESPN report that the team is bringing back Laquon Treadwell, its 2016 first-round pick who was released at the end of training camp. Treadwell, who’d had several workouts but hadn’t signed with another team through the first three weeks of the season, returns as the Vikings’ fourth healthy receiver with Beebe out for the time being.

Beebe tore ligaments in his ankle while blocking for tight end Irv Smith during Sunday’s game with the Raiders, according to an NFL source. Beebe is not planning to have surgery for now, the source said; the Vikings plan to re-evaluate him in a week.

The return of Treadwell — who caught 56 passes for 517 yards in three seasons — gives the Vikings another receiver who knows their playbook. They could also get a boost from their tight ends; second-round pick Irv Smith was their leading receiver on Sunday, and has lined up in the slot on a handful of occasions this season.

But with Beebe out, the Vikings will also need to address their issues at punt returner.

Coach Mike Zimmer suggested after Sunday’s game the Vikings might be looking for a return man, anyway, after Beebe muffed a punt for the second straight game. Mike Hughes could return to the role if the Vikings feel good about the health of his surgically-repaired left knee, a week after Hughes returned for the first time since his injury last October. And while it remains to be seen whether the team has any interest in a reunion with Marcus Sherels — the Vikings’ record-holder for punt return touchdowns — a source said the 31-year-old is healthy and ready to return to action after reaching an injury settlement with the Saints at the end of the preseason.

Treadwell’s return adds an interesting coda to a run with the Vikings that already appeared to be over. The team declined his fifth-year option in the spring, and the 23rd overall pick in the 2016 draft sunk down the team’s depth chart in training camp, behind Beebe (a former rookie camp tryout pickup) and Johnson (a seventh-round pick this year). Treadwell had left as the only first-round receiver in Vikings history not to post at least 1,000 career yards after starting his career with the team. For the time being, at least, he’ll get another chance to add to those totals in Minnesota.

According to an NFL source, the Vikings worked out former Eagles and Bills receiver Jordan Matthews last week, as well as former Bears receiver Tanner Gentry and former Jets receiver Deontay Burnett, before deciding to bring back Treadwell.

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