Heading into training camp, former Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Alex Erickson was considered a long shot to make the Cincinnati Bengals roster.
On Friday night against the Minnesota Vikings, the Darlington, Wis., native made his presence known. In his first NFL preseason game, Erickson scored two touchdowns in the Bengals’ 17-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
With 49 seconds left in the first half, quarterback A.J. McCarron found the former walk-on for a three-yard touchdown reception to tie the game at seven. It would be the only catch for the evening for the former Badgers’ wide out.
@BadgerFootball Here's alumni @ericksona86's first touchdown catch in the NFL for the Bengals! pic.twitter.com/G4G0zbFVch— Darby Fitzsimons (@DarbyFitzsimons) August 13, 2016
Erickson wasn’t finished, however. In the fourth quarter, he caught a punt — and after bouncing off of a few would-be tacklers -- returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. Watch the video here (note: the NFL disabled its embed function).
Alex Erickson. 80yd punt return...— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) August 13, 2016
Not a bad NFL debut, @ericksona86. #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/ficUR26zxh
After the game, Erickson initial spoke with reporters at his locker, but he was then summoned to speak at the post-game podium (h/t Zach Heilprin).
The moment when an undrafted FA gets moved from the locker room to the podium. @ericksona86 pic.twitter.com/6tTGgPW8Ht (via @JayMorrisonCMG)— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) August 13, 2016
Alex Erickson, he of the #Bengals' two TDs tonight, was just pulled from his locker.... https://t.co/mUKfrxBKRl pic.twitter.com/CTHGTK3V6V— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) August 13, 2016
Erickson caught 77 receptions for 978 yards and three touchdowns for Wisconsin during the 2015 season. He also returned 24 punts for 7.3 yards per attempt last season.