Priefer: It's time for Blair Walsh to 'go and perform'

Vikings say they have Blair Walsh's back.
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Vikings kicker Blair Walsh got a vote of confidence from special teams coordinator Mike Priefer during practice today at Winter Park.

Priefer told reporters that he's optimistic that Walsh will kick well for the rest of the season, adding that it's time for Walsh to perform.

Walsh's season-long struggles came to a head last Sunday after he missed another extra point and had a field goal blocked in Minnesota's 22-16 overtime loss to Detroit.

Earlier this week, it looked like Walsh's days in a Vikings uniform were numbered when the team brought in a group of kickers for a workout. While Priefer acknowledged those workouts went well, he said he was encouraged by how Walsh handled the situation.

For the season, Walsh ranks near the bottom of the league in kicking stats, he's 13-of-16 on extra points and 12-of-16 on field goals.

"I think a lot of it is probably mental," Priefer added. "He is a confident guy, but sometimes if he isn't kicking it exactly right or if his pre-game isn't great that will be in the back of his mind."

Walsh missed what would have likely been a game-winning 27-yard field goal against Seattle during the NFC Wild Card game last season. He pulled the ball wide left, causing the Vikings to lose. Priefer doesn't think that miss is lingering with Walsh.

"I honestly thought in the spring when he came back he was stronger," said Priefer. "He had a really good spring and a really good training camp for us. I hope those issues are behind us, I wouldn't think that's on his mind when he's going out there for a kick in a game."

We'll find out if Walsh can turn it around starting Sunday afternoon in Washington.

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