With the Vikings already dealing with the loss of starting LG NIck Easton for the rest of the season due to a broken ankle, the offensive line has been dealt some more news that one would label ‘less than good’.
Although it doesn’t appear to be serious, Vikings C Pat Elflein missed practice for the second day in a row, and Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was noncommittal about his availability for Sunday:
Mike Zimmer didn't provide an update on center Pat Elflein, saying "we'll see" if he plays. #Vikings can go a couple ways if he's out, including Remmers to guard.— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) December 28, 2017
The logical assumption was that if Elflein can’t go, the Vikings line for Sunday would be:
LG-Jeremiah Sirles (replaces Nick Easton)
C-Joe Berger (played C 2015-16)
Isidora is the primary backup at guard now that Sirles has been moved into the starting lineup, and that’s the least intrusive switch. But Andrew Krammer’s point about sliding Remmers to guard is an interesting one. And Remmers says he says he’s capable of making the move and giving the Vikings a completely different look:
#Vikings Mike Remmers said he would be able to play right guard Sunday if Joe Berger is needed at center to possibly replace Pat Elflein (shoulder). “It’s all football, just playing football,'' Remmers said. Then Rashod Hill would be the right tackle.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) December 28, 2017
As Chris Tomasson intimated, then, your starting line would be:
If Remmers can make the switch, this seems like the best option. Between Hill and Isidora, Hill is the better player right now, with the most playing time this year, and he did a pretty decent job filling in for both Remmers and Reiff when they were both out with injury.
The important news in all of this, though, is Elflein’s status. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like a serious thing, and assuming the Vikings get a first round bye, the extra week to heal should mean he’s good to go for the Divisional Playoff Round:
Hear that Pat Elflein (shoulder) doesn't have any new injury. Can use the rest right now. We saw how important he is when he missed the Carolina game. He should be plenty fine for their Jan. 13 or 14 game (presuming 2 seed). #Vikings #Skol— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) December 28, 2017
We’ll keep you posted on what the final status of Elflein and the rest of the line will be as soon as we hear something.