Minnesota Vikings’ long snapper — Kevin McDermott — may need to share in the blame for the team’s collective failure during their tight 38-31 loss to the L.A. Rams on Thursday night, September 27. But let the record show that in losing part of a finger — he literally did wind up leaving a little bit more of himself on the field than the next man did.
Coming off of an abysmal weekend debut — that not once saw Minnesota get within close enough range to afford him an attempt at the uprights — Dan Bailey was put in a position to score early and often against Los Angeles. Thus, by the top of the second quarter, the recently acquired kicker got to register his first field goal as a member of the Vikings organization. However, the horrific injury he’d sustain would ensure that McDermott’s recollection of the 37-yard bank shot will forever differ from Bailey’s memory of the moment.
Replays show McDermott cupping his left hand up to his face right after he snapped the ball off to the placeholder. Upon closer review, video of the play shows the moment one of his digits gets wedged between Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers’ and offensive lineman Tom Compton’s helmet. It was in that fraction of a second that the tip of McDermott’s pinky had actually gotten stuck and torn off by the force of the contact, according to ESPN reporter Courtney Cronin.
The bank is open for Dan Bailey ???? pic.twitter.com/5GEJ7ehOq9
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 28, 2018
I’m told Kevin McDermott lost the tip of his pinky tonight when it got caught in a player’s face mask. He got it stitched up in the game and was able to go back out. The belief is he’ll be able to play through it going forward.
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) September 28, 2018
The prospect of losing McDermott couldn’t have sat well for Viking’s head coach Mike Zimmer, who was already dealing with the task of replacing defensive end Everson Griffen and cornerback Marcus Sherels coming into the game. Thanks to McDermott’s apparent tolerance for pain and resilience, though, Zimmer wouldn’t have to preoccupy himself with a worst case scenario for long.
After being substituted for by backup David Morgan on the next couple of special teams snaps, McDermott would get back on the field to assist Minnesota through the remainder of the first-half — and to eventually finish the remaining two quarters of the contest.
Ultimately, it proved to be a credit to McDermott that he stood the course to help Bailey nail the subsequent 39-yard field goal and an additional 40-yarder that followed to make the game a competitive one. But given his position and predicament, there was only so much that the six-year veteran could do to help Minnesota keep up with a high powered Rams offense.