The Vikings offense has a new coordinator in John DeFilippo and a new quarterback in Kirk Cousins, so there was no reason to think they would avoid hiccups on the way to the start of the regular season.
One of the biggest ones they are dealing with at the moment is unrelated to either of those new faces. It’s the inability to field their starting offensive line because of injuries to three players. Center Pat Elflein is on the PUP list as he recovers from shoulder and ankle surgeries and left guard Nick Easton, who was taking Elflein’s place, is out with an undisclosed injury. Right guard Mike Remmers is also out with a hamstring injury, which left third-string center Cornelius Edison and other backups to fill out the line for Saturday night’s scrimmage.
Cousins lamented the difficulty in working with so many moving parts, but also tried to find the silver lining of the situation.
“It’s tough,” Cousins said, via ESPN.com. “It’s not ideal. Pat will be back but it’s good practice for when inevitably something happens during the season and we have to shuffle people around. I guess it’s getting us prepared for that. It isn’t easy to have a new center every other snap, if that’s what happens.”
Cousins points out that players who get released in September could wind up back with the team and in the lineup at some point down the road because of other injuries. That would leave the Vikings in something far different from a perfect world, but they and other teams showed last year that imperfect worlds can still work out pretty well on the scoreboard.