Kluwe put on notice with punter workout

The Vikings brought in a punter for a workout Tuesday, which could be a message to Chris Kluwe that he needs to perform better.

In the last Thursday's loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs, one of the problems the Vikings faced early in the game was a pair of bad punts by Chris Kluwe, including a 20-yarder, both of which set Tampa Bay up in good field position and both of which led to scores. On Tuesday, the Vikings sent a clear signal to Kluwe that things had better improve in a hurry.

The Vikings brought in former San Diego State punter Brian Stahovich for a workout Tuesday, according to FOX Sports' Aaron Wilson. Stahovich, who was with the Indianapolis Colts until being one of the team's August cuts, averaged 43.4 yards a punt in 2011 for SDSU.

Kluwe is 26th in the league in gross average per punt (43.8 yards) and 18th in net average (39.9 yards) and has struggled in recent weeks with short punts and low hang times.

Kluwe was in a similar situation four years ago when the Vikings had the league's worst punt coverage team and Kluwe was blamed by head coach Brad Childress for not kicking a punt out of bounds that was returned for a touchdown by Chicago's Devin Hester. The Vikings brought in several free agent punters, but Kluwe ended up keeping his job.

The Vikings didn't make a signing yet, but the message has clearly been sent that Kluwe is under the gun to turn things around or he could be replaced.

WEDNESDAY NOTES

  • As things currently stand, the Vikings are the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoff chase, ahead of the Packers who are No. 6. As things would currently stand, the Vikings would play the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the playoffs, while the Packers would play the Giants. Atlanta and Chicago would earn first-round byes.

  • A lawsuit filed in Florida court Monday claims that former Viking Bryant McKinnie owes more than $375,000 in unpaid bills at Miami area strip clubs – a total that is mind-boggling that it could get so high without being paid. McKinnie is now a backup offensive lineman for the Ravens. McKinnie has denied he owes that much money.

  • Mistral Raymond has been out since injuring his right ankle in Week 3 against the 49ers. He is close to coming back to the lineup and may be a decision this week whether he has healed enough to return.

  • Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, the trade deadline was pushed back to Thursday. The Vikings may be in the market for a cornerback if they can find a trade partner, but historically there isn't much activity as the trade deadline comes and goes.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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