Pat Elflein’s absence will continue through the fourth preseason game and the Minnesota Vikings made a trade with the New York Giants to acquire offensive lineman Brett Jones.
Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said Elflein wouldn’t practice this week, but the coach said he doesn’t expect Elflein -- who started each of the 14 games he played as a rookie last season – isn’t expected to start the regular season on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
“Well, he’s going to practice when he’s ready to go,” Zimmer said Monday. “I don’t know when that’s going to be.”
Asked the chance of starting the regular season on the PUP list, which would knock Elflein out for six games, Zimmer responded: “No, I don’t think so.”
Elflein is on the preseason PUP list, which means he doesn’t count toward the 90-man roster, as he recovers from offseason ankle and shoulder surgeries.
Jones started 13 games at center and left guard for New York in 2017. He started 14 games in two seasons for the Giants after being signed out of the Canadian Football League. New York re-signed Jones in April to a one-year, $2.914 million contract and the Giants decided to go with Jon Halapio as their starting center.
Reports say Minnesota sent a 2019 seventh-round draft pick in exchange for Jones, who still needs to pass a physical for the Vikings.
Jones is a native of Saskatchewan and went to Regina University in Canada before joining the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders. He was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2014 and helped Calgary to a Grey Cup championship.
The Vikings needed offensive line depth at center and left guard. Starting left guard Nick Easton, who was considered Elflein’s top backup too, was lost for the season after surgery for a bulging disc in his neck. Veteran Tom Compton has been playing left guard with the first-team offensive line and Cornelius Edison, a former practice squad player, has been the starting center since Easton was injured.
Undrafted free agent J.P. Quinn was signed right before training camp and another undrafted free agent, Jacob Judd, was signed by the Vikings last week to add more depth at center. Veteran lineman Josh Andrews, who was playing some center, is also dealing with an ankle injury.