Vikings cut Elflein; former starter had slow injury recovery
EAGAN — The Minnesota Vikings waived guard Pat Elflein on Saturday, in the middle of another injury-impacted season for a player who started 43 games over four years at three positions on the offensive line.
“We just felt like we had some better options,” coach Mike Zimmer said.
Elflein was reinstated to the roster from injured reserve on Friday, but his recovery from thumb surgery had been uneven, according to offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak: “He’ll have a good practice one day. It’ll bother him a little bit the next day.”
Rookie Ezra Cleveland has taken over at right guard for Elflein, who was drafted in the third round out of Ohio State in 2017 and started at center his first two seasons. He switched to left guard last year and moved again to right guard this season. Elflein played in the opener and was hurt in practice the following week.
After a solid rookie year, Elflein needed offseason surgeries on his shoulder and ankle and wasn’t the same in 2018 while starting 13 games.
The Vikings also activated long snapper Austin Cutting from the COVID-19 reserve list on Saturday. They ruled tight end Irv Smith Jr. out for their game on Monday at Chicago because of a groin injury. Cornerback Cam Dantzler (concussion) was listed as questionable.
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