Who really thought this was possible: the Vikings miss Aaron Elling. Yes, it's true. Elling, once cut, is now an important part of the Vikings team and his absence hurts.
Yep, this is the same guy the Vikings cut on August 31st after an unimpressive preseason. In fact, Elling's lack of kicking consistency led the Vikings to cut him and scramble to unearth veteran Morten Andersen. But Elling's bad kicking did not end his career. In fact, after being released, Elling auditioned for the Tennessee Titans who did not sign Elling but instead went with unrelated kicking legend Gary Anderson, also an ex-Viking.
But cutting Elling only solved one problem. When Morten Andersen signed on 7 September, another problem existed. The Vikings had a hole to fill. Being a veteran, Andersen's skills were best used scoring points and his leg didn't have enough to drive kickoffs and to power the longer field goals. Before you even think about ripping Andersen (#7), consider this: Morten started his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints in 1982!
But back to Elling (who oddly enough was born in 1978, just 4 years before Andersen broke in with the Saints). Though maligned in the preseason and since he was re-signed on 17 September, now Vikings fans are realizing just how valuable Aaron is. Elling left the field honorably after breaking an ankle making a tackle and now the Vikings and Viking fans miss him more than they ever thought they would.
Please don't take this as an attack on the newest Viking Jose Cortez. I respect him for coming in and doing his job. I'm also very happy for him to be playing in the National Football League again after time away. However, I do think it funny that a guy the Vikes could cut now is injured and that is coming back to haunt the Vikings.
Isn't life funny?