Vikings coach Mike Zimmer’s concern level is “high” with specialist Kaare Vedvik after he was given the placekicking duties during Saturday’s 20-9 preseason win against the Cardinals and missed both of his field-goal attempts.
Vedvik, acquired from the Ravens for a 2020 fifth-round pick this month, missed a 43-yard try wide left and later pushed a 54-yard attempt wide right. He did make two extra points. Rookie Austin Cutting’s snaps and punter Matt Wile’s holds were fine on the misses, according to Vedvik.
Zimmer isn’t so sure about his next step with the specialist competitions featuring Vedvik, Wile and kicker Dan Bailey, who did not kick against the Cardinals. Bailey had an uneven training camp but has made all six kicks (including five extra points) in two preseason games.
“I honestly don’t know,” Zimmer said. “Since we brought Vedvik in, Wile has been punting good and Bailey has been kicking good. Then Vedvik goes out there and misses field goals, so I don’t know. I’m at a loss on that.”
One more preseason game — Thursday in Buffalo — remains to figure it out.
Misplaying “angles” led to the misses, according to Vedvik, who was 12-for-13 on field goals in six exhibitions with the Ravens before failing on his first two attempts with the Vikings.
“It’s just small things in the process when you’re kicking,” Vedvik said. “They were slightly two separate things — different hashes, different angles. I hit them both well off my foot, good trajectory and good height, but it’s about playing angles better.”
Wile’s solid outing included a 47.3-yard average on six punts. He has rotated holding duties with receiver Chad Beebe but drew positive reviews on four holds against the Cardinals.
“I thought I’ve been holding well,” Wile said. “We made some changes at the beginning of camp, and after acclimating to those changes I thought I’ve been holding well.”
Zimmer has hinted the Vikings roster has 10 defensive linemen worth keeping, and third-year defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo is a reason why. Against the Cardinals, Odenigbo corralled quarterback Kyler Murray on a read-option play for a loss of 3 yards. He nearly did the same to quarterback Brett Hundley in the second half.
Odenigbo, who was cut last year and claimed by the Browns before finding his way back to Minnesota, is competing with defensive linemen Jalyn Holmes, Hercules Mata’afa and Armon Watts on the roster bubble.
“I’ve gone up against enough starting left tackles, I think I belong in the league,” Odenigbo said. “It’s not even an arrogance thing. I’ve played on other teams now and see how other teams work and think I’m as good as anybody out there.”
Four starters don’t play
Ten Vikings players, including four starters, did not play against the Cardinals. Receiver Adam Thielen was “sore,” Zimmer said, and was held out as a precaution. The same went for safety Harrison Smith, who had a cut that was infected but “could’ve played” if it were the regular season, per Zimmer.
Eight others, including nose tackle Linval Joseph (shoulder) and right tackle Brian O’Neill (elbow), were sidelined by ongoing recoveries. Tackle Aviante Collins (leg), receiver Jeff Badet, defensive end Ade Aruna, cornerback Mike Hughes (knee), tight end David Morgan and defensive end Tashawn Bower (Achilles’ tendon) also did not play.
• A young Cardinals roster was penalized 14 times for 111 yards, including another false start for executing the “clap snap” as a hard count, which came during Hundley’s first series. The Vikings drew six flags for 50 yards.
• Former Gophers tight end Maxx Williams, who signed with the Cardinals in May, had one catch for 6 yards. Williams’ second target, a deep throw by Murray, was negated because of a Cardinals holding penalty.
• Kicker Blair Walsh signed with the Falcons on Saturday, meaning Walsh could face his former team when Atlanta comes to U.S. Bank Stadium for the Sept. 8 season opener.