The Vikings released center Brett Jones on Tuesday as the offense returned from the bye week with two interior offensive linemen, guards Pat Elflein (thumb) and Dru Samia (wrist), on the mend.
Elflein was designated to return from injured reserve on Monday and will practice this week for the first time since tearing a ligament in his thumb during practice on Sept. 17; Jones had been promoted to the active roster the following day.
The Vikings have an open roster spot, and three weeks to activate Elflein, but cutting Jones could indicate Elflein will return sooner than later.
The Vikings also shuffled the practice squad again on Tuesday, cutting linebacker Cale Garrett, who had been with the team since Sept. 23 after Anthony Barr’s season-ending injury. They’ve since signed veteran linebacker Todd Davis as a contributor, and rookie Troy Dye (ankle) has been designated to return from I.R.
Cornerback Marcus Sayles was re-signed to the practice squad. Sayles, the former West Georgia and CFL cornerback, was an offseason signing previously waived in the middle of training camp.
Practice squad kicker Chase McLaughlin has been “protected” for the seventh straight game, meaning the Vikings are protected from McLaughlin accepting a job on another team’s 53-man roster. NFL teams can guard four players per week from taking promotions. They’ve kept the clamps on McLaughlin as insurance if kicker Dan Bailey is unavailable amid the pandemic.