The New Orleans Saints announced Monday that they were signing veteran kicker Blair Walsh to their practice squad. The move was made to provide depth for the team at the position as insurance against COVID-19 or any other situation, according to team officials. New Orleans has worked out several kickers over the last two weeks, leading to some speculation about the their comfort over kicker Wil Lutz.
Lutz has been one of the NFL's most reliable place kickers over the last four seasons and earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2019. He has converted 23 of 28 field goal attempts and 57 of 58 extra points this season, but has been mired in a recent slump.
Lutz has missed at least one field goal in each of the last five games, including several within a normally automatic range for him. He has converted 86.6% of his career field goal attempts, but a career-low 82.1% this season.
The 31-Yr old Walsh has six years of NFL experience, but has not kicked in a game since the 2017 regular season. Walsh earned All-Pro recognition as a rookie in 2012, when he kicked a league-high 35 field goals.
He played his first five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, and last saw action with the Seattle Seahawks in 2017. Unfortunately for Walsh, he is best known for shanking a 27-Yd field goal attempt that cost the Vikings a victory in a Wild Card playoff game against the Seahawks. Walsh has been successful on 82.4% of his field goal attempts and 95% of extra points in his career.
The Saints will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday in the Divisional Round of the 2021 playoffs.