With the bye week firmly in the rear view mirror, the Minnesota Vikings are welcoming back a pair of players. One of them was a starter when the season began, while the other may have an opportunity to play a much bigger role for the Minnesota defense.
The team has announced that they are designating guard Pat Elflein and linebacker Troy Dye to return from injured reserve.
Elflein was the starter at right guard to begin the season, but was placed on injured reserve after suffering a thumb injury in practice about a month ago. He was replaced by Dru Samia, who was subsequently replaced by Ezra Cleveland. Neither of them exactly lit it up in Elflein’s stead, so we’ll have to see how things look if and when Elflein gets back into the lineup.
Dye was one of the Vikings’ fourth-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. He started out of special teams but was placed on IR after the Vikings’ loss to Indianapolis. With Anthony Barr being out for the season with an injury, Dye might get more of an opportunity on the defensive side of the ball than he had gotten prior to his injury. I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing that with a lot of younger players in Minnesota for the rest of this season.
Designating Elflein and Dye to return from Injured Reserve opens up a 21-day window for the team to move them to the active roster. If, for some reason, the team decides not to put them on the 53-man roster after that 21-day period, they will revert to IR and be finished for the season.
The Vikings made a couple of other moves today, but given the position that they made those moves at, we’ll detail those in a separate post.