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Presser Points: Zimmer Says Elflein Will Practice 'When He's Ready' But Timing Unknown

EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer on Sunday said he does not expect that Pat Elflein will practice this week.

Zimmer was asked by media members if he thinks the second-year center will start the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform List and said, “No, I don’t think so.”

Elflein has been working his way back from an injury suffered in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 21. He opened training camp on the Active/PUP list.

“Well, he’s going to practice when he’s ready to go,” Zimmer said. “I don’t know when that’s going to be.”

In the meantime, Cornelius Edison has been filling in with the first-team in three preseason starts.

The Vikings are scheduled to close their exhibition slate at Tennessee on Thursday. All NFL teams must reduce their rosters from 90 to 53 players by Saturday.

Here are four other topics that Zimmer addressed on Sunday.

1. On the right side

The Vikings started Mike Remmers at right guard and Rashod Hill at right tackle on Friday against the Seahawks. It was the first action in a 2018 preseason game for Remmers, who suffered an injury in training camp, and a return to the lineup for Hill, who was unable to play against Jacksonville.

“Mike and Rashod were a little bit tentative but nothing bad,” Zimmer said. “They did fine, but it was just good to get them out there again.”

The Vikings put together a 15-play drive that lasted 7:34 on their first possession.

Minnesota then subbed Danny Isidora for Remmers and Aviante Collins for Hill on its second possession. Isidora and Collins helped the group drive 97 yards in 13 plays on that drive, which was capped with a 1-yard touchdown run by Latavius Murray.

2. Tell of the tape

After reviewing Minnesota’s late 21-20 victory on tape, Zimmer said there are still areas in which the Vikings can improve.

He mentioned not being happy with the way his team defended the run and also wanted to yield a little more on individual run plays.

“There were a couple times when our pad levels got a little bit high, defensively. We didn’t play the trap very good,” Zimmer said. “Offensively, I would have liked to get more 4- and 5-yard runs as opposed to getting a bunch of 2s and 1s and things like that.

He also noted progress in a couple of areas of focus.

“There were some good things, too,” Zimmer added. “For the most part I thought we covered pretty well, defensively. Offensively, we converted 7-of-10 first downs with the first group and then 3-for-3 in the red zone. Some things like that we’ve been working on that were good.”

3. In the running game

Dalvin Cook made his much anticipated return to action on Friday, albeit in limited action.

Cook netted 1 yard on two carries before he was replaced by Murray, who rushed 10 times for 24 yards and caught three passes for 32 yards.

Undrafted rookie Mike Boone also got extended playing time against the Seahawks. Boone rushed nine times for 26 yards and caught four passes for 13 yards, continuing to show a broad skill set.

“I think he’s doing well. He is a guy that is really versatile,” Zimmer said. “Can catch the ball, has good feet and made some really good cuts. He continues to show pretty well.”

4. Backup quarterbacks

With starter Kirk Cousins playing the entire first half, backup Trevor Siemian played the third quarter and just into the fourth quarter before the Vikings brought in Kyle Sloter.

Sloter was able to rally the Vikings with a pair of touchdown passes (1 yard to Jake Wieneke and 25 yards to Chad Beebe) and completed a 2-point conversion pass to Wieneke for the game winner with under a minute to go.

Siemian was 4-of-8 passing for three yards and was sacked three times. Sloter completed 11 of 15 passes for 85 yards and was sacked once.

Zimmer said there is no question with regard to the Cousins, Siemian, Sloter order on the depth chart, but he does think Siemian can play better.

“The other night he didn’t play as well as he had in the past, so he has to improve some,” Zimmer said.

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