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No backup plan: Vikings show faith in struggling Dan Bailey with latest roster move

El pateador de los Vikings de Minnesota Dan Bailey patea el gol de campo del triunfo en tiempo extra ante los Jaguars de Jacksonville el doingo 6 de diciembre del 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The Vikings appeared to give struggling kicker Dan Bailey a vote of confidence on Tuesday.

A day after coach Mike Zimmer said he hadn’t decided whether Bailey would be his kicker on Sunday against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings released kicker Tristan Vizcaino from their practice squad. Vizcaino could have been activated to replace Bailey, who missed an extra point and three field-goal attempts Sunday in the Vikings’ loss at Tampa Bay. Bailey, 32, missed two extra points and a field-goal attempt the week before in a victory over Jacksonville at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Bailey was 26-of-27 on extra points and 10-of-12 on field-goal attempts in 11 games before his slump began.

Bailey, who is in his third season with the Vikings, appears assured of keeping his job for at least another week. That’s because the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols require five days of testing to clear a newly signed player and get him active. The Vikings did workout veteran kicker Chandler Catanzaro, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Catanzaro, 29, last kicked in 2018 when he spent time with Carolina and Tampa Bay. Catanzaro retired in August 2019 after signing with the New York Jets that spring. He decided to return with the Giants this past August but was released.


Zimmer already made one change to his kicking unit this season when Austin Cutting was replaced (and eventually released) after his struggles included a bad snap on an extra-point attempt on Nov. 16 in a 19-13 victory in Chicago. The Vikings signed veteran Andrew DePaola to replace Cutting.

Vizcaino, who kicked at the University of Washington, has never appeared in an NFL game. He made only 12-of-19 kicks in 2017, his last collegiate season.

The Vikings also placed cornerback Kris Boyd on injured reserve and activated cornerback Mark Fields II from the same list. Boyd suffered a shoulder injury on Sunday against Tampa Bay.