This article isn't about whether Florida State's kickoff return team is good, needs, improvement, etc. I already covered that this summer in "Florida State Kickoff Returns: The Real Story". This is about whether FSU should continue to use starting safety Lamarcus Joyner return kickoffs. The depth chart released by FSU this Monday lists Joyner as one of two starting kick returners.
I think the answer should be "NO." It's not that Joyner is bad at kickoff returns. In fact, I think he's decent kick returner, and could be quite good if Greg Reid bothered to block for Joyner when Reid doesn't field the kickoff. The issue I have with it is the potential for injury weighed against the value of Joyner returning kickoffs. As discussed yesterday, Joyner is the most important player on FSU's defense. If FSU is using Joyner on kickoff returns, he had better be so much better than any other option that they just cannot keep him off the field. And I just don't see any evidence of that. The dropoff between Joyner and other safeties is enormous, but between him and other KO returners... not so much. FSU has one guy who can do what Joyner does at safety. Many players can do what he does on kickoffs.
Some might say "But FSU uses Greg Reid as a returner." This is true, but as discussed yesterday, there is much better depth at corner than safety. Plus, Reid changes the game as a returner, in that teams consistently kick away from him, often giving FSU excellent starting field position.
I don't think the reward of Joyner returning kicks is worth the additional risk of injury. Reid will still take the majority of returns, and the remainder can be handled by Rashad Greene or Karlos Williams.