Sep 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive guard Pat Elflein (65) in action against the Oakland Raiders at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

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Vikings release Elflein, remove Cutting from COVID-19 list

The Minnesota Vikings released offensive lineman Pat Elflein on Saturday, one day after activating him off injured reserve.

Elflein sustained a thumb injury in practice during Week 2 and was placed on IR on Sept. 17. He started at right guard in the season-opening loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Minnesota also activated long snapper Austin Cutting from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Cutting was placed on the list on Tuesday and is now expected to play in Monday night’s road game against the Chicago Bears.

Cutting, 24, in his second season as the Vikings’ long snapper.

Elflein, 26, started 42 of 43 games played over the previous three seasons — the first two at center and 2019 at left guard.

Second-round pick Ezra Cleveland, who played left tackle in college at Boise State, will be counted on at right guard. He will be making his fourth straight start at the position.

“We just felt like we had some better options,” Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said of the transaction. “… These guys come in and compete and work real hard. There are times when you have to make those decisions.”

Minnesota also ruled out tight end Irv Smith Jr. (groin) for Monday. Cornerback Cameron Dantzler (concussion) is questionable.

Zimmer said Pro Bowl linebacker Eric Kendricks is the team’s backup long snapper.

–Field Level Media

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