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.
Saturday, September 3, 2016, 4:10pm
Forbath won what was an extremely tight battle with Connor Barth this offseason, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The team has not officially announced the decision, though it will be reflected once roster cuts become official Saturday afternoon.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 7:16pm
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because contract has not been announced. Forbath, who signed the deal shortly after free agency began on Wednesday, kicked in 10 games last season for New Orleans, hitting nine of 13 field goal attempts. He'll have to compete to retain his job with recent Saints acquisition Josh Scobee.
Hocker was 9-of-13 on field goals in six games for the Saints, and missed an extra point.
After losing to the Dolphins yesterday in what the visitors felt was like a home game, they’ve found the appropriate scapegoat in Washington.
Forbath missed a 46-yard field goal yesterday, which hardly seemed like a deal-breaker at the time.
He hit 24-of-27 field goals last year, and has hit at a 88 percent clip in his previous three seasons there. He just doesn't seem to get a ton of chances in the Washington offense, and that was probably going to be the case this year as well. It will likely be the same with Hopkins.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 7:09pm
Redskins K Kai Forbath (right groin, probable) practiced fully Wednesday.
Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:09pm
Redskins K Kai Forbath (right groin, questionable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 3. Forbath should play, but owners may want to pick up a healthy kicker.
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 6:30pm
Redskins K Kai Forbath (right groin) took limited practice reps again Thursday.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 6:15pm
Redskins K Kai Forbath (right groin) took limited practice reps Wednesday.
Friday, September 12, 2014, 7:30pm
Redskins K Kai Forbath (right groin, questionable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is questionable for Week 2. Forbath owners may want to pick up a non-injured kicker.
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6:24pm
Redskins K Kai Forbath (right groin) was added to the injury report Thursday after taking limited practice reps.
Saturday, August 30, 2014, 11:04am
Their competition lasted all preseason, with the rookie shining initially, hitting a pair of field goals and making a special-teams tackle during the opener against New England, while Forbath was short on his lone attempt from 46 yards.
But Saturday morning, roughly eight hours before the NFL’s deadline for final roster cuts, it was Hocker who was released.
It all came down to Thursday’s preseason finale at Tampa Bay, in which Hocker missed his lone field-goal attempt, from 39 yards, wide right. Forbath delivered from 45 yards to open the scoring. Forbath usually struggles to make our top kicker list, but if Washington's offense can find its way Forbath could be a spot starter if needed.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 12:23pm
For Redskins kicker Kai Forbath, that pressure mounted as Jay Gruden became coach of the Redskins and the team promptly selected a rookie kicker in the 2014 NFL Draft. Forbath's success as an accurate field goal kicker came under Mike Shanahan, and his shorter kickoffs have been an issue most of his two years with Washington.
On Thursday night, with a very public battle brewing between Forbath and rookie Zach Hocker, the incumbent did himself no favors. Forbath missed a 46-yard field goal, and compounded his problem by sending a kickoff out of bounds.
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