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Sunday, October 19, 2008
Tough one for Kluwe

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

CHICAGO -- We interrupt the track meet in Chicago to wonder how much longer punter Chris Kluwe will be in a Vikings uniform.

I like Kluwe, but a few minutes ago he made one of the worst plays you'll see a punter make. Standing at about the Chicago 9-yard line, Kluwe dropped a perfect snap. He picked it up and tried to punt, but by then Bears safety Craig Steltz was in position for the block.

The ball landed close to Kluwe's foot, where it seemed destined to be downed. The Bears would have had excellent field position but would have had to earn a score. Instead, Kluwe kicked the ball out of the scrum -- which, of course, is against NFL rules. As it turned out, the ball bounced right into the hands of Bears special teamer Garrett Wolfe, who returned it 17 yards for a touchdown.

The penalty was declined, and the score counted.

Kluwe clearly panicked, which isn't a good sign considering the pressure Kluwe is under. As you'll remember, Vikings coach Brad Childress threatened Kluwe's job two weeks ago after he failed to kick the ball out of bounds as directed at New Orleans. The result was a pair of touchdown returns from the Saints' Reggie Bush.

Was Kluwe thinking too much about his orders to -- no doubt -- kick the ball out of bounds against the Bears' Devin Hester? It's a good bet -- and a bad turn of events for Kluwe's job security.