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Blair Walsh was released by the Minnesota Vikings because they had no choice

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Minnesota has parted ways with its struggling kicker.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings announced Tuesday the release of struggling kicker Blair Walsh. The move comes after Minnesota suffered its fourth consecutive loss, against Washington. Walsh missed a PAT in the 26-20 defeat.

Minnesota signed Kai Forbath to replace Walsh, the team announced Wednesday.

Walsh missed a 27-yard kick to beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs following the 2015 season, and he has struggled this year, missing four PATs and four field goals so far. Three of the missed field goals came early in the season, during the Vikings’ 5-0 start. It has been a departure for Walsh, who made 84.2 percent of his attempted field goals during his career in Minnesota.

In Week 9 against the Detroit Lions, Walsh had one field goal blocked and missed an extra point attempt. The Vikings lost to Detroit in overtime, 22-16.

Walsh was frustrated after the loss.

"I want to be there for my team. Of course I do. But come on,” Walsh said to reporters after the game. “You guys ask the same questions every week — 'Did you make it? Why didn't it go in?' I mean, if I had the answer right away, I'd tell you. I'm confident in what I'm doing. I know that I'm going to be fine. But it's tough right now."

The Vikings brought in six kickers last week for tryouts, but opted to stay with Walsh for the Washington game.

“We’re going to see what all the options are,” head coach Mike Zimmer said, according to Chris Tomasson of TwinCities.com. “We’ll see what the options are at tackle. We’re going to see what the options are at kicker and then make a determination and go.”

The Vikings began the season 5-0, but have dropped four games in a row. Walsh’s missed kicks are far from the only issue contributing to Minnesota’s downfall, but his inconsistency gave the Vikings no choice but to move on from him.


Walsh’s missed FG doomed the Vikes in the playoffs last season