There might not be a lot of drama at most positions on the Minnesota Vikings roster, but there’s one competition that it appears will come down to Saturday night’s preseason finale against the Denver Broncos.
Vikings special teams coordinator Matt Daniela said it will be a “punt off” for the job Saturday night in Denver between Jordan Berry and Ryan Wright.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) August 23, 2022
The punting competition for the Vikings is going to end with a “punt off” according to special teams coordinator Matt Daniels. Jordan Berry, the incumbent, and Ryan Wright, the undrafted rookie, will each have their opportunities in Saturday’s final preseason game to prove that they deserve the job.
To say that it’s been a pretty close competition thus far between the two would be an understatement. Both Berry and Wright have punted five times through the first two preseason games, and they both have the same gross punting average of 48.6 yards. Wright has the longest punt (a long of 59 yards compared to 56 for Berry), while Berry has a slightly higher net average (39.8 yards to 37 yards). They’ve each had three of their five punts returned, and they’ve each landed one punt inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. So, yes, thus far things between the two have been pretty even.
Berry is in his eighth NFL season, having spent the first six seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers before joining the Vikings last season. Wright played his college ball at Tulane and was signed by the Vikings this spring as an undrafted free agent. Wright is also, currently, wearing #66 because. . .well, because there really weren’t any other numbers left by the time he signed with the team. I don’t think he can keep #66 if he wins the punting competition, but it would be awesome if the league would let him.
(They totally won’t let him.)
So, if nothing else about Saturday’s last game that doesn’t count isn’t going to get you excited, perhaps the “punt off” will give you something to keep an eye on.