The Blair Walsh era is curtains in Minnesota.
NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday that the Vikings have released their embattled kicker after another ugly performance in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Redskins. The team later confirmed the move.
After the Vikings ripped off 20 unanswered points against Washington, Walsh flubbed an extra point just before the half, keeping Washington within striking distance at 20-14. It was just the latest mistake in a string of high-profile gaffes for the fifth-year veteran. Walsh has missed an NFL-high four extra points this year along with four field goals. His troubles began last season, of course, when the kicker botched a 27-yard field goal attempt with 22 seconds left to hand the Seattle Seahawks a 10-9 win in the NFC wild-card round.
Free agents Kai Forbath and Randy Bullock were among the legs the Vikings tried out after Walsh, the fifth-year pro, missed two kicks and botched a kickoff at the end of the Vikings’ overtime loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Patience has been tested after Walsh’s 27-yard miss that knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs last season. Walsh has missed four of his 16 field goal attempts this year for a 75 percent conversion rate that ranks 24th in the league. Walsh is also tied for a league-worst three missed extra point attempts, including one that bounced off the right upright on Sunday.
Sunday, August 23, 2015, 9:19am
The Minnesota Vikings made their trust in kicker Blair Walsh clear at the beginning of training camp, by giving him a four-year contract extension that included $5.25 million in guaranteed money. So there's no real reason to think Walsh's struggles in the team's first three preseason games will put his job in jeopardy any time soon.
But there's also no escaping the fact that since last December, Walsh hasn't been the same kind of dependable kicker the Vikings had when he went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2012, or even when he drilled 26 of 30 field goals in 2013. Since Week 14 last season, Walsh is 7-for-16 in games, and 2-for-6 in the preseason.
He missed three field goals and an extra point on Saturday night against the Oakland Raiders, and while swirling winds played with the trajectory of Walsh's kicks on Saturday, neither the kicker nor coach Mike Zimmer was about to accept that as an excuse. Raiders kicker Giorgio Tavecchio made both of his field goals.
Sunday, July 26, 2015, 2:10pm
It is a four-year deal worth up to $14 million with $5.25 million guaranteed, per a league source. Walsh, still in uniform, signed the deal with General Manager Rick Spielman after the morning walkthrough.
The Vikings drafted Walsh in the sixth round in 2012. He missed just three field-goal attempts as a rookie and was named a first-team All-Pro
Patterson rotated with wide receiver Charles Johnson on drives to remain fresh. It didn’t appear that Patterson needed to be attended to on the sideline with the injury, but he didn’t remain on the field throughout the game.
“I don’t feel like I’m 100 percent,” Patterson said. “I should be next week. Just keep getting treatment and keep grinding in treatment and do what it takes.”
Patterson initially injured the hip last week against the Packers, missing most of the second half in the 42-10 loss.
Patterson waived off Johnson midway through the fourth quarter on the Vikings only scoring drive – a 40-yard field goal from kicker Blair Walsh. On the 11-play, 45 yard drive, Patterson had first catch in the game and wanted to stay in with the adrenaline flowing. He finished with two catches for 15 yards on eight targets and one carry, a halfback toss, for two yards.
“I’m going to be out there,” Patterson said. “I don’t feel like I need to let my teammates down. Thursday, I sat out the whole second half. I can’t let that happen again.”
It's been a struggle for Patterson owners this year who feel like they need to keep putting him in their lineups after likely spending a pretty nice pick on him in drafts. In his defense, it was a tough matchup against a very good Lions defense that was putting the pressure on rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater. The good news is things get a little easier for Bridgewater, Patterson and the rest of the Vikes with three friendly matchups right up to the Week 10 bye.
Friday, November 1, 2013, 6:11pm
Thursday, October 31, 2013, 6:09pm
Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 6:49pm
Friday, October 25, 2013, 7:59pm
Thursday, October 24, 2013, 6:30pm
Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 6:13pm
CB A.J. Jefferson (ankle)
T Matt Kalil (back), WR Rodney Smith (hip)
DE Jared Allen (ankle), TE Rhett Ellison (knee), RB Adrian Peterson (hamstring), QB Christian Ponder (rib), CB Xavier Rhodes (ankle), C John Sullivan (hand), K Blair Walsh (left hamstring), DT Kevin Williams (knee), WR Jarius Wright (ankle)
CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), RB David Wilson (neck)
C David Baas (neck), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), CB Corey Webster (groin)
Peterson is listed as probable and was limited in practice on Saturday after not practicing on Friday. He's expected to play.
Jacobs did not practice on Saturday after being limited Thursday and Friday. It very well could be to make sure he's OK for the game, but it could also be a setback, so he's a little more risky. Michael Cox and newly-signed Peyton Hillis are the only backs behind Jacobs, so if you need Jacobs in your lineup, there isn't exactly a dependable backup plan you can put in place.
Friday, October 18, 2013, 7:10pm
Thursday, October 17, 2013, 6:26pm
Friday, October 11, 2013, 7:17pm
Vikings K Blair Walsh (left hamstring, questionable) missed practice Friday after taking limited reps Thursday and is questionable for Week 6. Walsh owners should have a backup plan ready to go Sunday morning if Walsh is deemed inactive. The Vikings have yet to sign a kicker to replace Walsh, which is a good sign.
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