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Vikings place G Elflein on IR

Elflein, who will be eligible to return in three weeks, played all 52 offensive snaps in last week's 43-34 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2019, file photo, Minnesota Vikings offensive guard Pat Elflein (65) defends during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, in Detroit. The Vikings had some trouble on the interior of their offensive line at times last season, and there were no upgrades made. Their first move to try to improve was to shift Pat Elflein from left guard to right guard. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings have placed starting right guard Pat Elflein on the injured reserve list.

The announcement came after the fourth-year offensive lineman injured his thumb in practice on Thursday, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Elflein, who will be eligible to return in three weeks, played all 52 offensive snaps in last week's 43-34 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

The move could give way for rookie offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland to see the field after being inactive in the season opener. Cleveland was drafted in the second round and has spent time in practice playing both guard and tackle. 

Rookie cornerbacks Cameron Dantzler (ribs) and Jeff Gladney (knee) were also absent from practice on Thursday. Dantzler recorded three tackles in his NFL debut on Sunday against the Packers.

Earlier on Thursday, Minnesota added veteran safety George Iloka to its practice squad, giving the Vikings a little more depth behind starters Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris. Iloka has a history playing under Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer, starting in Cincinnati, where Zimmer was a defensive coordinator. Iloka also spent a season with the Vikings in 2018 where he saw limited action.

The Vikings (0-1) hit the road this weekend to take on the Indianapolis Colts, who will also be looking to rebound after losing 27-20 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in their season opener.