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Kicker Greg Joseph hopes to get shot at Vikings’ record for longest field goal: 56 yards

Last season, Joseph made 7 of 9 field-goal attempts from 50 or more yards, including boots of 55 and 54 yards against Detroit in Week 5.

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Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph is lifted onto his teammates’ shoulders after nailing a 29-yard field goal to win the game against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 21 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Paul Edinger and Blair Walsh are in the record book for the longest field goals made in Minnesota Vikings history, but perhaps not for long.

Edinger made a 56-yard kick in 2005, and Walsh matched that in 2012. But Greg Joseph, who kicked a 58-yard field goal in the exhibition finale Aug. 27 at Denver, looks primed to challenge that regular-season record.

True that Joseph was helped by the high altitude in the game against the Broncos. Yet throughout training camp, he made 58-yard field goals with regularity and also drilled his only attempt in team drills from 60 yards.

So has Joseph set his sights on the team record?

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Greg Joseph

“I would love to be given the chance, and my goal is to help put this team in a better position to win each and every day,” said Joseph, entering his second season with the Vikings.

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Last season, Joseph made 7 of 9 field-goal attempts from 50 or more yards, including boots of 55 and 54 yards against Detroit in Week 5. The longer kick against the LIons came early in the fourth quarter while the other won the game 19-17 on the final play.

Joseph’s two misses from 50 or beyond last season were from 50 and 53 yards. He has yet to line up for an attempt giving him a shot at the team record.

Obviously, if it’s at the end of the half or if a potential winning or tying field goal is needed late in the game or in overtime, Joseph could be called upon for an attempt longer than 56 yards. But with what Joseph has done lately, might the Vikings look to increase his range in general during the regular season?

“I think you have to, and I think that’s a really good question,” first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell said. “We’ll look at it from a kind of an analytics standpoint every single week of what the data tells us. … I have so much confidence in (Joseph), our team does, and I think it’s just a matter of that particular drive. … I think we can be aggressive trying to put points on the board any time we really cross the 50 (yard line).”

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The Vikings open the season Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium against Green Bay, and that will bring back some memories for Edinger. He set a Vikings record on Oct. 23, 2005 with his 56-yard boot on the final play of the Vikings’ 23-20 win over the Packers at the Metrodome.

“I remember it to this day,” Edinger said Tuesday. “It was great. I still have a couple of still shots of (players) holding me up in the air and my hand up in the air (after the kick). It’s an everlasting feeling, and it will always be.”

Edinger broke the team record set by hall of famer Jan Stenerud, who made a 54-yard field goal against Atlanta on Sept. 16, 1984 at the Metrodome at the age of 41. Edinger’s record was tied when Walsh, then a rookie, made a 56-yarder at Houston midway through the second quarter on Dec. 23, 2012.

“I think so, especially with some of the longer kicks being made now,” Edinger said about being surprised he still holds a share of the record 17 years later.

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Edinger said some acquaintances have talked to him about Joseph, and he has gone on the Internet to watch clips of him. He is impressed with Joseph’s leg strength, but said every NFL kicker has the potential now to exceed 56 yards if the situation is right.

“Just being a realist, these days it’s always in jeopardy,” Edinger said of the team record.

Joseph’s kick at Denver would have been good from well beyond 60 yards, and he did it with a new holder from last season in punter Ryan Wright, an undrafted rookie from Tulane. Wright beat out veteran Jordan Berry, the punter and holder in 2021.

“Ryan’s doing a great job,” Joseph said. “We’re building trust, and we’re building confidence. I’m excited to get to work with him.”

Put it all together, and Joseph hopes what he showed in training camp and in the preseason will result in the Vikings extending his range during the regular season.

“I hope so,” he said. “I want them to just feel confident in me as I’m confident in myself no matter the range. Put the ball down and I’m going to go through my process and kick it to the best of my ability.”

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Related Topics: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
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