5 Vikings positions that have worsened since the start of training camp

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Kellen Mond
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Kellen Mond /
4 of 6
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Britton Colquitt /

Special Teams

It may be cheating a bit to lump all of the special teams together, but there were high hopes for this unit heading into training camp, and it is now riddled with question marks.

The biggest one and most surprising is at punter. Britton Colquitt had a horrible game against the Broncos to the point that Mike Zimmer called him out during his halftime interview. He did punt better against the Colts, but he needs to have a solid performance against the Chiefs and in remaining practices to secure his spot on the team.

Greg Joseph and Riley Patterson were expected to have one of the better camp battles we’d see this year, but that didn’t happen. Patterson spent most of his time with the Purple riding the stationary bike and was let go before the competition started.

Joseph won the job by default and has been mediocre at best. Joseph needs to look great in the final preseason game or the Vikings could look at some veteran options after final cuts are made.

The return battle was also seen as one of the better ones of camp this year. The Vikings drafted plenty of rookies who could return the ball. Kene Nwangwu, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and Whop Philyor were all intriguing options at both kick and punt returner. The team also had K.J. Osborn, Chad Beebe, Ameer Abdullah, and Dede Westbrook in the mix, but no one has stepped up.

Nwangwu has been hurt, Westbrook is also recovering from an injury, and the rest have struggled to catch the ball. Smith-Marsette did have a nice return against the Colts and could be the front runner, but overall, the special teams unit hasn’t lived up to the promise it had at the beginning of camp.