When last we saw Minnesota Vikings C Pat Elflein on a football field, he had suffered a broken ankle in the NFC Championship Game loss to Philadelphia. That injury required off-season surgery, but it was expected that he would be 100% and ready to go for Training Camp, which begins today for quarterbacks and rookies.
It wasn’t a big deal when Elflein (a graduate of Ohio State, in case you were wondering when I would get that reference in) missed the off-season OTA’s and mini-camps, as he was still rehabbing from the injury.
But is it a big deal now?
Today, the Vikings announced they have signed C J.P. Quinn, the pride of Central Michigan, and former undrafted free agent of the Indianapolis Colts. To make room for him, they released TE Josiah Price.
I know in the back of your heads, the ‘doom and gloom’ part of your Vikings fandom is now crashing upon your Beach of Optimism, and you want to start down the ‘Here We Go Again’ path regarding injuries.
Don’t. Really, it’s okay.
Honestly, I don’t see this as a big deal, and neither should you! It’s perfectly normal for a team to get some back of the roster help as a guy works his way back from injury, and the Vikings only had two centers on the roster to begin with, Elflein and Cornelius Edison. With the team running second and third team offenses a lot in the early part of camp, the only option would have been to work Elflein more than they probably want to at this stage of his recovery, or shuffle projected starter at
RG LG Nick Easton in between center and guard.
Neither seems like an optimal choice, so signing a center now to take those extra reps instead makes a ton of sense. Quinn gives the Vikings another offensive lineman for training camp depth, and allows Elflein to rest and not have to take as many reps while he works back in to playing shape.
As to Price, he was fifth or sixth tight end on a team that isn’t going to carry more than three, and with those three spots more than likely spoken for, he had virtually no chance to make the team. This allows him to try and hook up with a team that gives him a better chance to make a roster.
I’m not going to panic until the team tells us Elflein has back spasms. If that happens, you will be allowed to freak out.
Until then, fuhgeddaboutit.