The Vikings are in the midst of an abysmal campaign at 1-5, but they at least have some reinforcements on the way. Minnesota is designating guard Pat Elflein and linebacker Troy Dye to return from injured reserve, they announced Monday.
Each can return to practice, and the team now has a three-week window to activate either player. If they are not activated in that span, they’ll be ineligible to return for the remainder of the year. Those weren’t the only roster moves the Vikings made following their bye week, as they also claimed cornerback Chris Jones off waivers from the Lions and signed cornerback Mark Fields to the active roster from the practice squad. Clearly, the Vikings feel they need help in the secondary, and it’s hard to argue with that given what we’ve seen so far.
Elflein became the Vikings’ starter at center his first two years in the league, then switched to guard last season and started 15 games there. He played every snap in Week 1 but was placed on injured reserve with a knee issue shortly thereafter. Elflein has never been viewed too positively by most evaluators, but it can’t hurt to get a starter back.
Dye is a fourth-round rookie from Oregon who could help with a defense that has been struggling mightily. He started to get defensive snaps in Week 2 after Anthony Barr picked up his season-ending injury, but then promptly went down with a foot injury of his own.
Jones is a 2018 UDFA from Nebraska who appeared in 11 games with three starts for the Cardinals last year. He had 22 tackles and six passes defended. Fields is a 2019 UDFA from Clemson who spent most of last year on Minnesota’s practice squad and has been shuffling back and forth between there and the active roster this season.