Mike Zimmer said Monday he would meet with General Manager Rick Spielman to decide on the direction of two critical positions for the reeling Vikings.
The Vikings seek yet another offensive tackle and could be looking for a new kicker after Blair Walsh missed his fourth extra point attempt of the season — a league-worst — during Sunday’s loss at Washington. They later lost left tackle Jake Long for the season to a torn Achilles’ tendon.
“We’re going to see what all the options are,” Zimmer said. “We’re going to see what the options are at tackle, what the options are at kicker and we’ll make a determination and go.”
The Vikings’ short list to replace Walsh is at least updated after they worked out six kickers last week between Kai Forbath, Randy Bullock, Travis Coons, Zach Hocker, Marshall Koehn and Aldrick Rosas. Walsh, the fifth-year pro, has missed at least one kick in five of nine games this season.
On the tackle front, options are bleak. They’re looking for yet another body as Long is their fourth offensive lineman lost to a season-ending injury. Zimmer said there are external options and one could be free agent Reid Fragel, the 25-year-old Ohio State product who worked out alongside Long for the Vikings in October.
Another possibility could be guard Alex Boone, who played left tackle in college and voiced his willingness to move after Sunday’s loss.
“We’ll discuss it and figure out what the best thing to do is,” Zimmer said.
Kalil’s return unlikely
The Vikings won’t get help at tackle from injured reserve.
Matt Kalil, who recently shed crutches after September hip surgery, said Monday it’s a “long shot” he will be able to return this season. That’s what the Vikings expected when placing him on IR two months ago, but Kalil confirmed well into his rehab that a return this season is unlikely.
“At a certain point, my hip may be healthy,” Kalil said. “But not working out [during rehab], it’s a different situation.”
Kalil, 27, is a free agent in March and hadn’t missed a start until this season despite his five-year NFL career being riddled with injuries.
Trying too much
“Doing too much” was the Vikings’ boogeyman at Washington, players said Monday, and Zimmer pointed the finger at himself after his team’s fourth consecutive loss. Zimmer said “we maybe changed some things too much” and referenced taking chances with defensive play calls.
“I mean, hey, we lost three games in a row,” Zimmer said. “You’re going to shoot all of the bullets out of your gun if you can. Sometimes it backfires and sometimes it doesn’t.”
‘Not a place to panic’
A four-game losing streak has the Vikings clawing for answers as they sit with a 5-4 record, tied with Detroit atop the NFC North. Still, veteran cornerback Terence Newman preached perspective Monday when asked about the team’s tailspin.
“It’s not a place to panic right now, but we do understand we have some problems that need to get corrected,” Newman said. “We still have a chance to do what we want to do.”
‘Good chance’ to return
Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn might have “kicked some boxes” as he watched the Vikings loss on television, but he still feels good about his sprained ankle allowing him to play Sunday against Arizona. Munnerlyn’s streak of 74 consecutive games played ended last week.
“I think I got a good chance,” Munnerlyn said.
Rhodes in protocol
Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes is in the concussion protocol this week after a fourth-quarter collision with a teammate knocked him out of Sunday’s game. Two Vikings recently missed games because of concussions in Boone and linebacker Eric Kendricks.