The Minnesota Vikings have made their decision when it comes to replacing Blair Walsh at kicker, signing Kai Forbath to take on the role going forward.
Following yesterday’s release of Blair Walsh, fans were curious about who would be brought in to replace the struggling kicker. Some rumors and speculation were swirling around, but finally the official word came down on November 16, 2016.
According to the official Minnesota Vikings website, Kai Forbath will be taking on the duties as the team’s kicker, handling field goals, extra points, and kickoff for the Vikings for the rest of the season.
Forbath has some familiarity with the other specialists on the team. He was part of a UCLA team in college that featured both punter Jeff Locke and long snapper Kevin McDermott. In 2009, he won the Lou Groza Award for being the best kicker in college football.
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As a pro, Forbath has been a member of the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints. Here is a bit on his history in the league from the official Vikings website:
"“The fifth-year pro has made 69 of 82 field goals (84.1 percent) and 124 of 127 extra points (97.6 percent) since October 2012 when he joined Washington as a free agent. He was with the Redskins until October 2015 and finished last season with the Saints.”"
Entering the team, Forbath will be under a microscope to start his Vikings career. He will need to be more consistent on his makes than Blair Walsh in order to avoid the same type of criticism. However, it appears as though the new specialist is up to the challenge.
Welcome to the Minnesota Vikings, Kai Forbath. While joining a new team in the middle of the season can always be a challenge, as a veteran kicker with familiarity in his unit may be able to come in and make an impact right away.