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Vikings activate G Pat Elflein. . .and then waive him

Huh?

Minnesota Vikings v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images

Upon designating him to return from injured reserve a few weeks ago, the Minnesota Vikings opened up a 21-day window to either bring guard Pat Elflein back to the active roster or let him go back on injured reserve, ending his season. That window was set to close this week, so on Friday the Vikings did, in fact, activate him.

And today they have, in fact, waived him.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting that Elflein has been waived by the Vikings in a pretty surprising move.

Elflein was the Vikings’ third-round pick out of Ohio State in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was installed as the starting center during his rookie year and suffered a broken leg in the NFC Championship Game that caused him to miss an early portion of the 2018 season. He was moved to guard following the drafting of Garrett Bradbury, and had his struggles at that spot.

While Elflein has been a bit of a disappointment over the past couple of seasons, I don’t think anyone expected the Vikings to outright drop him. Given the performance of rookie Ezra Cleveland at right guard over the past couple of games, the team apparently felt that Elflein was expendable.

As Rapoport points out, Elflein will now go on waivers and will be available to be claimed by any NFL team in order of their records (from worst to best).