When the Minnesota Vikings started Training Camp a month ago. . .yeah, it’s been a whole month already. . .they only had one player that wasn’t readily available to practice with the rest of his teammates. That was starting center Pat Elflein, who was recovering from a shoulder issue and the fractured ankle that he suffered in the NFC Championship Game. The prevailing wisdom was that, while Elflein wasn’t ready for action yet, he’d been good to go by the time the regular season rolled around.
As it stands now, however, in the words of noted American philosopher Sterling Archer, somebody had better call Kenny Loggins, because we’re in the danger zone.
Elflein has not played in any of the Vikings’ first three preseason games, as he is still on the Physically Unable to Perform List. As a starter, he likely wouldn’t see any action in the fourth preseason game, and we are exactly one week away from when the Vikings (and the 31 other NFL teams that don’t matter as much) need to reduce their rosters from 90 players down to 53. Remember, there isn’t an interim cut to 75 anymore. . .it’s just all one big push.
If Elflein is still on the Physically Unable to Perform List at 3:00 PM Central Time on Saturday, 1 September, he will be obligated to miss the first six games of the regular season, per NFL rules. He wouldn’t count against the team’s 53-man roster, but he would not be able to step on the field until Week 7 at the earliest.
It would be disappointing to see Elflein have to miss the first six weeks of the season. This isn’t a 2010 Sidney Rice situation where he literally waited until the start of camp to have surgery and was out until November as a result. Elflein had both of his surgeries early enough in the offseason, from all reports, where you would have thought his rehab would be finished by now and he’d be ready for game action. For whatever reason, unfortunately, that is not the case.
There hasn’t been any real intel out of Eagan that would give any indication one way or the other about Elflein’s status, and I wouldn’t expect there to be any until the announcement comes that he’s coming off the PUP List. If that changes, however, we’ll definitely have it here for you straight away.