The New Orleans Saints handled their business against the Chicago Bears this Wildcard Weekend, winning 21-9. But it was hardly a flawless performance.
Saints kicker Will Lutz missed an early field goal that could have made a Bears comeback a lot harder in the first half. Heading into their Divisional Round matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Saints are getting some insurance at the kicker position.
According to NFL insider Tom Pelissero, the Saints are signing former Pro Bowl kicker Blair Walsh to their practice squad. Walsh has not kicked a field goal since 2017 when he was with the Seattle Seahawks. He earned Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors with the Minnesota Vikings as a rookie in 2012.
Pelissero speculated that the move could be a contingency plan in case of any COVID issues. But some Saints fans believe the move is a direct result of his missed field goal against the Bears.
The #Saints are signing veteran kicker Blair Walsh to their practice squad, source said.
Never know when a COVID issue might arise during the playoffs, so they’ll keep Walsh in testing protocols as a contingency plan.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 11, 2021
Will Lutz converted a career-low 82.1-percent of his field goals this past season. While he did offset that with a career-high 57 of 58 extra points converted, his two misses in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles still sticks out to some fans.
Even though the Saints are favorites against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their recent playoff struggles no doubt have fans nervous. Few players in NFL history have benefited from 50-50 calls the way Bucs QB Tom Brady has.
The Saints will need to play like there’s no room for error if they want to avoid another exit before the NFC Championship Game.
Should the Saints make a change at kicker before the Divisional Round?
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