Vikings Set to Overhaul Special Teams

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We already know that kickoffs will look drastically different during the 2024 NFL season, but the players kicking the ball for the Minnesota Vikings could also be entirely swapped out for the first time in a while.

Vikings Set to Overhaul Special Teams

When the Minnesota Vikings decided to move on from kicker Greg Joseph, they immediately had an opening at a very important position. Signing UFL standout, known for his big leg, John Parker Romo became the first suitor destined for the position. Then, when using a late-round draft pick on Alabama’s Will Reichard, it appeared that the Vikings had their new starter.

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Nailing all but two of his nearly 300 extra points in college, Reichard helped to put up a substantial amount of points for Nick Saban’s powerhouse. Making 84 of his 100 field goal attempts and nailing 88% of them in his final season, Reichard showed out as one of the best kickers the college game has seen in quite some time.

The Vikings have had a revolving door at the kicker position for years. After Mike Zimmer quickly got annoyed with rookie Daniel Carlson and sent him packing, he has become one of the best kickers in the league. The Vikings have been searching for someone to replicate that performance for them since, and Reichard could be the guy.

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Known more for his accuracy than a big power leg, Reichard can still put the ball through the uprights from a substantial distance. With Sam Darnold under center and potentially rookie J.J. McCarthy, multiple stalled-out drives may rely on the leg of Kevin O’Connell’s kicker. Hopefully, some early success can lead to a year of impressive results.

It’s not just the kicker that could be new this season, though. Matt Daniels also has Seth Vernon challenging Ryan Wright. After Wright showed well during his rookie season, Minnesota was given much less than ideal results during year two. Wright should be expected to lead the competition, but the Atlanta Falcons signed Vernon after going undrafted out of Portland State. He put up gaudy numbers in college and could challenge the incumbent punter.

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If Wright wants to keep his job heading into the regular season, it will be on him to show results that are much more reflective of his first season in the league than the last one. Wright can’t afford not to change the field position when called upon by Minnesota, and looking for his first real shot in the NFL, Vernon will be pushing him to the brink through training camp. 

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.