The Vikings are halfway through their 2020 schedule at 3-5. Every day leading up to Monday night's game in Chicago, we'll break down how each position has fared so far.
Kicker: Dan Bailey
Punter: Britton Colquitt
Long snapper: Austin Cutting
The Vikings retained the NFL’s fourth-ranked field goal team from a season ago, signing kicker Dan Bailey and punter Britton Colquitt to three-year contract extensions this offseason. After years of turnover at both positions, Bailey and Colquitt were expected to bring stability. Receiver K.J. Osborn was drafted in the fifth round out of Miami after leading the ACC in punt returns to do the same at both kick and punt returner spots .
Where they are
Bailey has already missed as many field goals as he did last season, converting 6 of 8 attempts so far. His misses were both wide right from 49 yards against the Titans and 55 yards against the Texans. The veteran was perfect on extra points until Sunday’s miss against the Lions, dropping him to 19 of 20. Special teams as a whole requires some work after poor coverage and blocking for returns and punts led to issues against Detroit. Osborn’s longest return, 38 yards, came in his NFL debut. He’s since dealt with an injured hamstring that led to Ameer Abdullah and Chad Beebe handling return duties for a couple games. Colquitt hasn’t been as consistent punting as he was last season for the Vikings. Long snapper Austin Cutting was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week, possibly testing the team’s contingency plans Monday night. Cutting could be cleared to return by then. The Vikings’ insurance at kicker, Chase McLaughlin, was signed off the practice squad by Jacksonville on Tuesday. Drew Galitz, a former Baylor and XFL punter, could sign with the Vikings after a tryout earlier this week.
Player to watch
WR Dan Chisena — An undrafted rookie and former Penn St. track runner, Chisena leads the Vikings in special teams snaps (140) despite missing a game due to a hip injury. His speed during summer practices immediately caught the attention of teammates and coaches, and it’s translated into some standout plays as a gunner on coverage teams.
66 — The Vikings have gone the equivalent of more than four full seasons without returning a kickoff or punt for a touchdown. Cordarrelle Patterson, the former Vikings first-round pick and current Bears running back, is the last to return a kick for a touchdown on Nov. 20, 2016 against the Cardinals (66 games ago).