We know what Vikings and Colts fans must have been thinking Thursday night: Now Garrett Hartley decides to shank kicks?
The Saints’ 14-9 victory over Minnesota would have been a lot more comfortable if Hartley hadn’t missed field goals of 46 and 32 yards. We wondered in our post-game thoughts how long a leash Hartley would have after his Super Bowl heroics.
SI’s Peter King wrote on Twitter: “Amazing how quickly Hartley goes from playoff hero to kicker who could soon be on the bubble. I don’t sense Payton trusts him.”
On Friday, Payton supported his guy.
“A year ago I would have had 3 kickers in today . . . he kicked well in the postseason . . . he’s our kicker,” Payton told Ross Tucker Friday on SIRIUS NFL Radio.
Like we wrote last night, it would likely take quite a slump for Hartley to be in trouble. But time waits for few slumping kickers, especially when there are better veterans than usual available in free agency.