Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Vikings release kicker Riley Patterson, clearing the way for Greg Joseph; work out a punter

The Vikings on Monday forgave Riley Patterson with an injury designation, clearing the way for Greg Joseph to become their kicker.

The team pardoned wide receiver Blake Prohl with the injury designation after he sustained a serious injury to his right knee in practice last Wednesday. Patterson, whose injury has not been disclosed, and Prohl will return to injured reserve if he is cleared of a waiver.

There are 86 players in the Vikings roster. They should have the NFL’s first cut deadline of 3 p.m. Tuesday at 85 p.m.

The Vikings on Monday roped in Australian-born punter Max Duffy, but a source said there are no imminent plans to sign him and are mainly looking to the future. The source said the Vikings expect Briton Colquitt, who suffered a 33-6 loss to Denver in the preseason opener on Saturday, to return this season and have a puncture.

Patterson missed much of spring practice and was placed on the physically disabled list to begin training camp on 28 July. He was dropped from the list on 5 August, but then apparently his injury was aggravated.

Joseph is now in line to become Minnesota’s kicker this season. He was the only kicker to be used against the Broncos and made both his field-goal attempts, which were 34 and 25 yards.

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“He was consistent,” said special teams coordinator Ryan Ficken. “He had a great pregame… He did exactly what we were looking for. He did a great job hanging on to kickoff.”

Joseph has 16 games in the NFL regular season and three in the post season. He was Cleveland’s kicker for 14 games in 2018 and Tennessee’s kicker for two regular season and three postseason games in 2019. He spent the previous season in Tampa Bay’s practice squad.

Colquitt, Minnesota’s oldest player at 36, averaged 40.5 yards in both gross and net against the Broncos, and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said his play was “cause for concern”.

“Obviously, (Colquit) knows he didn’t perform to the standard he wants and we clearly have that for him,” Ficken said. “We’ve talked about it and he’s ready to move on.”

The Vikings are hoping Colquitt returns in the second President’s Game on Saturday against Indianapolis at US Bank Stadium. But if their struggle continues, they want to provide alternatives.

Duffy averaged 46 yards per punt over the past three seasons at Kentucky and spent nearly a month with the Broncos last spring. Before going to college, Duffy played for Fremantle in the Australian Football League.

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