Minnesota Vikings guard Pat Elflein was expecting to return to the field in Week 10 for his first game since September. Instead, the Vikings waived him two days before playing on “Monday Night Football.”
Elflein waived day after coming off IR
Elflein was activated from injured reserve on Friday after missing all but the first game of the year. He’s healthy after thumb surgery and everything appeared on track to return for Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears.
On Saturday morning the Vikings released him, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, and he’s now on waivers.
Source: The #Vikings have released G Pat Elflein. The veteran now goes on waivers. Just off IR, he’s healthy now and this gives him the opportunity to get some real playing time elsewhere.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 14, 2020
Elflein, 26, was the Vikings’ third-round pick in 2017 out of Ohio State. He started as a rookie and played in 14 games at center. That year he broke his ankle in the NFC championship game and needed offseason surgery.
In 2019 he moved over to left guard when Garrett Bradley was drafted in the first round. He moved to the right guard position for 2020, where he played only one game. Elflein injured his thumb in practice after Week 1 and needed surgery.
Rookie takes over RG for Vikings
The Vikings will turn to their 2020 second-round draft pick, Ezra Cleveland out of Boise State, at right guard moving forward, per Rapoport.
Cleveland played the last three games after taking over for Dru Samia, who struggled in his four starts at the position. He already has one of the best performances by a Viking guard since 2016, per Pro Football Focus.
The best single-game performances by a #Vikings guard since 2016, according to @PFF (min 30 snaps):
*Josh Kline at NO (2019 WC): 87.0
*Joe Berger at WAS ('17): 86.8
*Alex Boone vs ARI ('16): 83.1
*Kline vs GB ('19): 82.4
*EZRA CLEVELAND at GB: 81.1
*Tom Compton vs SF ('18): 80.9
— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) November 3, 2020
The Vikings (3-5) travel to the Bears (5-4) in their first of two divisional meetings this season.
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