Head coach Mike Zimmer pointed to a couple reasons Wednesday for why the Vikings will stick with kicker Blair Walsh.
The Vikings worked out six free agent kickers on Tuesday, two days after Walsh missed an extra point, had a field goal blocked and botched a kickoff at the end of an overtime loss to the Lions.
“We’ll always evaluate it, but there’s a lot of factors,” Zimmer said. “We went back and looked at Mason Crosby, who I think is a really good kicker in this league. [Crosby] had one year where he struggled and fought through it. I look at a lot of different things. The game winner [Walsh] had against Chicago, against St. Louis; the field goals he’s made.”
Zimmer pointed to Crosby, who in his sixth NFL season missed 12 of 33 field goal attempts for a 63.6 percent conversion rate. Crosby rebounded for the Packers a year later, converting nearly 90 percent of his field goal attempts.
Walsh, a fifth-year pro, has missed at least one kick in four of eight games this season. The 2012 Pro Bowler is also tied for a league-worst three missed extra point attempts and his 75 percent conversion rate on field goals ranks 24th in the league.
Zimmer said the Vikings were ‘covering our bases’ by working out kickers.
“I still believe in him,” Zimmer said of Walsh.
After practice, Walsh said he and Zimmer have had some “discussions.” He wouldn’t elaborate.
Asked if what transpired Monday and Tuesday would put even more pressure on him, Walsh said, “That’s not how I look at it, no. I got to do my job and be dependable for my team. That’s how I look at it.”
Asked if he thought he was going to be released, Walsh said, “You know I’m not going to answer that question.”
Zimmer was not present for the Tuesday workouts, he said, because he underwent another procedure on his right eye, which was noticeably red and watery on Wednesday. Zimmer had a torn retina repaired last week.