Oakland Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson will be provided with a healthy dose of nostalgia against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season.
Carlson was the first kicker off the board when the Vikings took him in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, his tenure in Minnesota did not last very long after his early struggles ultimately culminated with an abysmal outing in a tie with the Green Bay Packers that saw him miss one field goal in regulation and two in overtime.
As a result, the Vikings parted ways with Carlson the next day before replacing him with Dan Bailey. Regardless, it appears there are no hard feelings on his end.
According to Scott Bair of NBC Sports, he is treating his return to U.S. Bank Stadium as just another game:
Daniel Carlson on playing a Vikings team that drafted him and cut him after two games, “it’s not some personal vendetta. That might be fun for some to write about, but that’s just not the case.”
Emphasized that Sunday’s game will be just like any other.
— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) September 18, 2019
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is glad to see Carlson thriving in Oakland and admits that there are some regrets to his decision to prematurely release him, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) September 18, 2019
Although Carlson struggled mightily early on, he was hardly given ample time to prove himself as a viable kicker in Minnesota. Especially considering the fact that they had invested a fifth-round pick on him. Regardless, it is safe to say that he has bounced back quite nicely in Oakland.
Carlson was signed by the Raiders following his release in 2018 and beat out Matt McCrane before making his debut in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts. He finished the year by setting a franchise record in field goal percentage by hitting 94% of his attempts. Meanwhile, Bailey hit just 75& of his field-goal attempts last season in Minnesota.
It is certainly intriguing to see just how quickly things can turn around for a young player once they are given the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. The Raiders decided to do just that and it is safe to say that it has paid off quite nicely for them thus far as he looks to keep his perfect start to the season intact against the Vikings.