Asked why the Vikings are bringing in kickers for tryouts this week, Zimmer had a direct and classic response.
“You haven’t been watching all year?” he said.
Bullock was with the Houston Texans from 2013-15, then went to the New York Jets for eight games last year and spent one game with the New York Giants this year. He has hit 80 percent of his field goals, including 19 for 23 last year with the Texans and Jets, but he also missed three extra points – going 22 for 25.
Forbath spent 2012-15 with the Washington Redskins, the Vikings’ next opponent, but after playing in only one game with the Redskins last year he moved on for 10 games with the New Orleans Saints. He has hit 84 percent of his field goals but only 10 of 15 last year. He was 34 for 35 on extra points in 2015.
Walsh has missed four field goals and three extra points this year, having a field goal blocked and an extra point bounce back off the right upright in Sunday’s 22-16 overtime loss to the Detroit Lions.
“At some point in time you have belief and confidence in guys because you know what they’ve done in the past. We’ve missed three extra points this year. We’ve missed several field goals,” Zimmer said. “The way our games are being played, they’re going to come down to a lot of close games. We have to look at all avenues as far as what gives us the best opportunity to win football games.”
Walsh drew the ire of Vikings fans when he missed a 27-yard field in the opening round of last season’s playoffs that likely would have given Minnesota a 12-10 win and instead resulted in a 10-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks and a quick exit from the playoffs.
Walsh on Sunday sounded off on reporters for their line of questioning after several missed kicks this year, but that didn’t seem to bother Zimmer. What matters to the head coach is that missed kicks can cost games, as the Vikings found out Sunday, and they can also lead to a lack of confidence for the rest of the players.
“I felt like our football team has gotten some confidence back yesterday, even though we lost,” Zimmer said on Monday. “And I’m hopeful they’ll continue to carry it forward through the rest of the season, because if we do that, we’re going to win some games. … I look at the confidence level of really everything about the football team. Honestly, I don’t know after the Chicago game that there was a lot of confidence in the offense. Now I think there’s some confidence in the things they accomplished yesterday. So I just feel like we’re moving in the right direction. Guys see things that can be done and the way they should be done.”
Zimmer said he thinks Walsh can be a successful kicker, but it remains to be seen if he will get that chance again in Minnesota.
- CB Captain Munnerlyn has a sprained ankle and Zimmer classified him as “day to day.” Munnerlyn suffered knee and ankle injuries on Sunday and left the locker room on Monday in a walking boot.
- RB Adrian Peterson continues to be around the Vikings’ Winter Park practice facility following surgery in September to repair meniscus damage, but Zimmer said he doesn’t know if the team is holding out hope for his return this season. “I don’t really know what the situation’s going to be,” Zimmer said.
- QB Teddy Bridgewater has also been around Winter Park, including on Monday, as he tries to work his way back from a multi-ligament knee injury, but he declined an interview request, as did Peterson.