Vedvik's 2 missed FGs leave Zimmer 'at a loss'

MINNEAPOLIS -- Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has a "high" level of concern regarding kicker Kaare Vedvik's two missed field goals during Minnesota's 20-9 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Vedvik, the kicker/punter Minnesota acquired two weeks ago from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a fifth-round pick, handled all place-kicking duties in the Vikings' third preseason game. He went 0-for-2 on field goals, including a 43-yard attempt that sailed wide left and a 54-yarder that went wide right. Vedvik made both of his extra-point attempts in the win.

While Vedvik handled all kicking duties, Matt Wile -- who had one punt in the waning minutes of last week's win over Seattle -- punted six times against the Cardinals with a 47.3-yard average, landing two inside the 20-yard line. Kicker Dan Bailey remained on the sideline Saturday. Bailey made all six of his kicks -- five extra points and a 24-yard field goal -- in the Vikings' first two preseason games.

Headed into the final week of the preseason, Zimmer said he isn't sure what the next step is with his specialists nor how the battles will be decided.

"I honestly don't know," Zimmer said. "Since we brought Vedvik in, Wile has been punting good and Bailey has been kicking good, and then Vedvik goes out there and misses field goals. I don't know. I'm at a loss on that."

After a fourth-quarter touchdown by running back Mike Boone, Zimmer opted for a two-point conversion instead of letting Vedvik attempt an extra point, attributing the decision to analytics. The two-point conversion failed.

Minutes later, Minnesota's third-team offense went for it on fourth-and-2 instead of letting Vedvik attempt a 33-yard field goal, which resulted in Kyle Sloter hitting Khari Blasingame for a 15-yard touchdown.

The Vikings' specialists have one final opportunity to settle the competition Thursday when Minnesota travels to Buffalo for its final preseason game.

Vedvik diagnosed his misses after Saturday's game and determined neither was caused by the operation of the long-snapper or holder and that both misses were rooted in separate issues.

"It's different hashes, different angles," Vedvik said. "I hit them well off my foot, good trajectory, good height. It's just about playing your angles a little better. Make sure it goes to the direction you want it to go."

Though Zimmer left the door open in training camp for Vedvik to earn both kicking and punting jobs, he noted how difficult it would be for a rookie to handle that type of workload. The NFL has not had a full-time combo kicker since 1981.

Regardless of whether Vedvik is dealt kicking opportunities in Thursday's game, his up-and-down experience since arriving in Minnesota won't affect him as he competes for the punting job.

"I mean, they are two separate things," said Vedvik, who was 12-for-13 on field goals in six preseason games with the Ravens over the past two seasons. "Kicking's kicking; punting's punting. It doesn't really translate over to the other one. Two completely different mechanics."