Too much ‘volume’ in Vikings’ offensive playbook

EAGAN, Minn. — Mike Zimmer theorized the Minnesota Vikings may have too much “volume” within their offensive playbook a day after the team dropped its third prime-time game of the season, a 25-20 loss at the Chicago Bears.

Zimmer said Monday he took a closer look at some of the areas where his team has continued to struggle, and why the offense sputtered in Chicago at the hand of miscommunications, a lack of explosive plays, turnovers and broken plays.

While it’s understandably taken the Vikings’ offense time to gel with new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo’s system, Zimmer concluded the amount of plays Minnesota is installing weekly may have an effect on some of its inefficacy.

“Let’s just play football,” Zimmer said. “You run a really good out route, you run the out route. He runs a good curl, you run the curl. You know what I mean? So, maybe we just need to focus a little bit on not trying to trick the other team quite so much.

“You want to add new plays every week and new plays and new plays and new plays. If you’re not executing, it might be the best play in the world. Vince Lombardi might have designed it. But if you can’t execute it, then it doesn’t do you any good. Can’t protect for it or whatever it is.”

Zimmer said postgame that the Vikings’ repeated mistakes with ball security and other areas that lead to turnovers might be because players are not listening, not paying attention or that “they really don’t care.”

Minnesota’s 16 turnovers this season ranks 25th in the NFL, the lowest mark by a wide margin during Zimmer’s tenure with the Vikings. The most turnovers any Vikings’ team has committed since Zimmer arrived in 2014 is 20. The Vikings’ two game-changing turnovers at Soldier Field — Dalvin Cook‘s fumble inside the Bears’ 15-yard line and Kirk Cousins‘ interception at the Vikings’ 11-yard line that was returned from a touchdown — along with other red zone turnovers has irked Zimmer considering how well the Vikings have been with ball security in years past.

“It’s been frustrating at times,” he said. “Like the Saints game, we’re getting down there, we’re getting ready to score and Adam [Thielen] fumbles the ball and he’s pretty good with it. I guess stuff happens sometimes.”

In vowing to find the root of these issues, Zimmer noted a “lack of awareness” from his team on several plays that he pointed out Monday while also going through various channels to make sure he’s still getting through to his players.

“I’ve asked several players if they’re listening to me or not or if they quit listening to me,” Zimmer said. “And not just them. I didn’t ask them ‘Do you?’ but ‘Did these guys stop listening to me?’ and they said ‘No.'”



Mike Zimmer and Kirk Cousins break down some of the reasons the Vikings couldn’t pull things together to defeat the Bears.



Mike Zimmer and Kirk Cousins break down some of the reasons the Vikings couldn’t pull things together to defeat the Bears.

Zimmer also defended the play of Cousins, who posted his worst quarterback rating of the season (76.5) against the Bears and averaged 5.7 yards per pass on a night when he threw two interceptions. Zimmer noted that Cousins’ first interception at the end of the second quarter was the byproduct of a “miscommunication” between the quarterback and the intended receiver Kyle Rudolph. Zimmer labeled Cousins’ fourth-quarter pick-six as a “misread.”

In 10 games, Cousins has thrown 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. In each of the past three seasons, Cousins has thrown a pair of pick-sixes (against the Saints and Bears in 2018) — the longest active streak in the NFL.

Zimmer offered insight on what might be the contributing factor on those plays.

“I really don’t think he is panicking,” Zimmer said. “I don’t think that is the case at all. I think there are times when he wants to get the ball down the field, so he’ll wait for guys to get open and instead of taking a sure thing sometimes. Other than the turnovers, I have a hard time faulting him. This kid is tough, he plays outstanding. He works his rear end off. He is a great team guy. We just need to and, quite honestly, not all of them are on him. Guys are in the wrong spot sometimes, too. That is not just our team, that is every team. I think all of those things combined make it a little bit more difficult.”

Cousins was pressured on 17 of his drop backs, the most of any team in Week 11, according to Pro Football Focus. Zimmer, however, did not believe the amount of pressure Cousins faced played too large of a role in contributing to his passes being picked off.

“I saw that watching the tape, there was a lot of clean pockets in there,” he said. “A lot of clean pockets. Sometimes we hit things and sometimes we don’t. I’d have to think back on the two interceptions if they were pressured or not. I’m not sure I know what pressure is according to whoever is deciding it.”

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RB Adrian Peterson upbeat despite Washington Redskins’ offensive line injuries

ASHBURN, Virginia — Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, in the midst of a career rejuvenation, had a natural reaction to his offense’s injury news Monday. The Redskins lost three starters, two of whom helped open holes for some of his 600-plus yards in the first half of the season. It could change the direction of not only the Redskins’ season, but determine his success as well.

“Me and my friend Maker’s Mark, we had a long night,” Peterson said.

But Peterson knows whiskey isn’t the answer to what ails the Redskins. More success from him, however, would be the antidote to their problems. And they say his numbers don’t have to change a whole lot just because of injuries to those blocking for him.

When the Redskins play at Tampa Bay on Sunday, they will be missing three of their original starting offensive linemen — left tackle Trent Williams (dislocated thumb), left guard Shawn Lauvao (torn ACL) and right guard Brandon Scherff (torn left pectoral muscle). And a fourth, right tackle Morgan Moses, did not practice because of a knee injury.

There’s a chance the starting five offensive linemen will include two players who weren’t on the roster until Monday.

“You’ve just got to stay positive and keep pressing,” said Peterson, the NFL’s ninth all-time leading rusher. “It’s not the end of the world, and it’s not the end of the season for us. We all have to perform better. That’s the mindset that I have. … There’s something different when you lose three starters to where your mindset shifts to, ‘I just gotta do more than what I was doing before.'”

That’ll be hard to accomplish. Peterson has rushed for 604 yards, fifth best in the NFL, surpassing what many expected from him after he signed with Washington in mid-August. The Redskins are 5-3 and in first place in the NFC East because of Peterson and their defense. They control the ball on offense and have limited offenses — save for New Orleans and Atlanta.

In the Redskins’ five wins, Peterson has rushed for 561 yards and four touchdowns. Only the Rams’ Todd Gurley and the Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt have rushed for more yards in their teams’ wins; both have eight victories.

Peterson also needs more help to continue climbing career lists: He’s 380 yards from passing Eric Dickerson for eighth in rushing and needs two more rushing touchdowns to pass ex-Redskin John Riggins for sixth on the all-time list.

For the Redskins to keep winning, Peterson must remain a vital part — no matter who’s blocking.

“He just goes through his reads like he normally would,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “It doesn’t matter who’s blocking for him — at guard, center, tackle, tight end, fullback — if we had one — or receiver. He’s just going to go through his progressions and make his cuts and do what he does. It doesn’t matter.”

The Redskins use a lot of different run schemes; Peterson said opponents sometimes express amazement to him after games over the diversity of Washington’s rushing attack. The Redskins use inside and outside zone as well as power gap schemes. They’ll pull the guards; they use jet-sweep action to slow backside pursuit.

They’re hoping that’s one reason Peterson can still succeed.

“A lot of times that helps you because you have the ability to run gap scheme or zone scheme, whatever it may be,” said center Chase Roullier, the only original starter healthy enough to practice Wednesday. “And you can run it based on what the new guys coming in are better at. You can adjust the game plan with that, depending on how that goes. I don’t think there’s going to be any issue plugging those guys in and continuing to win games.”

But Peterson also has discussed how much he has had to learn in this offense, from the style of the run plays to taking handoffs out of pistol or shotgun formation. He has carried a career-high 44 times out of gun formation, averaging 4.16 yards per carry — his best stat out of that look since 2013. Gruden said Peterson’s comfort level on these runs is more about him taking the right path and less about those who are blocking.

“He’s getting more comfortable,” Gruden said. “We still have downhill runs and will get him going on those, too. The big thing with him is being patient with his reads. Obviously we’d rather have Brandon and Trent in there. But [Peterson] is still going to read it out. If reading inside zone, I’m pressing the line and reading one gap at a time … Hopefully he doesn’t have to read a three-technique [defensive lineman] in the backfield.”

The Redskins only had a long walk-through Wednesday, wanting to get through more plays than usual to help the new players acclimate faster. So Peterson couldn’t get any timing down with them, something he said he’ll try to do Thursday and Friday.

“Once we get going to another tempo that I can say little things to them I might see or notice that I’d like them to do differently or might work better,” he said. “Right now it’s just getting to know those guys and talking to them so they feel more comfortable. But most importantly just knowing that they’re going out and playing hard and fast is what we really need right now.”

One change could be less pulling action from the linemen. That’s an area where Scherff excelled, and without him it might become a reduced part of the plan. But just running the same plays doesn’t mean Peterson will have the same success. There have been times he has made his blockers look good; there were other times his blockers put him in a position to do well — and once he gets past the first wave, his jump cuts lead to more yards.

When Peterson arrived in August, he bemoaned the situation he found himself in with Arizona last season — running behind a makeshift line. However, the feeling has always been that Washington’s backups were better than the Cardinals’ starters. That theory will be tested.

“It’s always hard to tell [in practice] because it’s not live action,” Peterson said. “You always say the play looked great in practice when you draw it up and when you run through it in practice. But when you’ve got guys coming 100 miles an hour, things change. We have confidence in the guys we had here before we brought in these guys. The new guys have to step up.”

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Dallas Cowboys fire offensive line coach Paul Alexander

FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have parted ways with offensive line coach Paul Alexander and promoted Marc Colombo to the position.

Alexander was named the offensive line coach in the offseason after a 24-year stint with the Cincinnati Bengals, replacing Frank Pollack, who replaced Alexander in Cincinnati. Colombo has been the assistant offensive line coach since 2016 after a 10-year career as a player, including six with the Cowboys, five as the starting right tackle.

It is the first in-season move Jason Garrett has made on his coaching staff since taking over the job full-time in 2011.

“While approaching the midpoint of the season, and going through an overall evaluation of our entire operation during the bye week, we felt that this move would serve the best interests of our team moving forward,” Garrett said in a statement from the team. “We have great respect and admiration for Paul and what he has accomplished in a very successful career in the NFL. These are not easy decisions to make at any time of the year, but we will move ahead with the utmost confidence in what Marc Colombo and Hudson Houck will bring to our team in their new roles.”

The Cowboys will bring in former offensive line coach Hudson Houck as a senior assistant, according to sources. He had two stints as the Cowboys’ offensive line coach from 1993-2001 and 2008-11.

Alexander came to the Cowboys with a strong reputation as a teacher and inherited a line that included three Pro Bowlers in Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin. He also had an experienced right tackle in La’el Collins and a second-round pick at left guard in Connor Williams. Frederick is on injured reserve after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

The Cowboys have been able to run the ball fine in the first seven weeks of the season, averaging 136.9 yards per game on the ground, good for fourth in the NFL, but the pass protection has not been good enough. Dak Prescott has been sacked 23 times. He was sacked 25 times as a rookie and 32 times last season.

Smith has not played as well as he had in the past and Collins has been flagged a team-high seven times for penalties. Alexander uses a different pass-protection technique than most line coaches and some believe that has played a part in the pass protection issues.

Colombo started 72 games in his time with the Cowboys at right tackle after joining the Cowboys in 2005 after injuries led to his release with the Chicago Bears. In 2014, he rejoined the organization in the scouting department before moving to the coaching staff in 2015.

He was considered for the job after Pollack was let go but Garrett opted for the more experienced Alexander.

The Cowboys had their off-week Sunday and will return to work on Wednesday with their first practice on Thursday ahead of their Nov. 5 meeting against the Tennessee Titans.

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Arizona Cardinals fire offensive coordinator Mike McCoy

TEMPE, Ariz. — Mike McCoy was fired by the Arizona Cardinals on Friday morning, the second straight year he has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator in the middle of the season.

He will be replaced by quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich, the team announced Friday.

The Cardinals (1-6) made the move hours after losing 45-10 in prime time to the Denver Broncos, the team that fired McCoy after Week 11 in 2017.

Under McCoy’s direction, the Cardinals’ offense was among the worst in the NFL — and in some categories it was the worst. Arizona did not gain 300 yards in any of its seven games this season and did not boast a 100-yard rusher.

The offense was ranked last in 15 categories heading into Week 4 and has gotten slightly better. Heading into Week 7, the offense was last in yards per game, first downs per game, third-down conversions, third-down conversion percentage, red zone dives and time of possession; 31st in points, receiving yards per game, net yards per pass attempt and offensive efficiency; 30th in point margin; and 27th in interceptions per pass attempt and red zone touchdowns.

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Sam Darnold, New York Jets quarterback, blames self for offensive woes vs. Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND – After being outplayed by fellow rookie Baker Mayfield, New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold blamed himself for a sputtering second-half offense in a 21-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.

“From my point of view, I just have to play better, simple as that,” Darnold said. “It’s not acceptable, the way I played. I know that, and I have to take it like a man. I feel like I’m responsible for some of the stagnant offense we had. I just have to play better, that’s it.”

Unlike Mayfield, Darnold struggled to spark the Jets. He completed only 15 of 31 passes for 169 yards and two interceptions, both of which came in the final 1:27 of the game.

Concerned about the Browns’ blitz, the Jets played extremely conservative, as Darnold didn’t attempt any long throws. In the first two games, offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates took chances, seemingly not worried about Darnold’s lack of experience.

That changed on Thursday night.

Darnold struggled whenever he wasn’t throwing a screen pass. Darnold was 6-of-8 for 63 yards on screen passes, only 9-of-23 (39 percent) with two interceptions on all other passes, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“He did as well as he could with the plays that were given to him,” said wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, tip-toeing around the issue. “They had a lot of pressure and that kind of messed us up.”

After Browns starter Tyrod Taylor left with a concussion, the game featured the first and third overall picks in the draft. The Browns passed on Darnold to take Mayfield, who delivered the franchise’s first victory in 20 games. He rallied the Browns from a 14-0 deficit.

“I know Baker is a great player,” Darnold said. “He did some great things at Oklahoma and he continued to do great things tonight. I felt the crowd rallied pretty well around him. At the same time, I have to continue to do my job and keep the offense rolling. I’m not worried about (Mayfield).”

Darnold regressed after two promising starts. He avoided turnovers until the fourth quarter, when he missed two chances to stage his first come-from-behind win.

With the ball at his own 37, he forced a ball into double coverage, looking for Jermaine Kearse. It was intercepted by Joe Schobert.

“I tried to force it in there,” Darnold said.

With 56 seconds left, the Jets got the ball back – one last chance to pull off a miracle – a long heave to Robby Anderson was picked off by Terrance Mitchell.

After three games, Darnold has four interceptions – two in the first quarter, two in the fourth quarter.

“I felt really comfortable throughout the whole game,” he said. “I just made stupid mistakes in the fourth quarter and missed opportunities throughout the whole game. I have to play better, and that’s on me.”

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Dallas Cowboys sign veteran offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo to two-year deal

FRISCO, Texas — After working out for the team last week, veteran offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys that includes a $50,000 signing bonus.

To make room for Su’a-Filo, the Cowboys released Kadeem Edwards, who served as a backup lineman in the season-opening loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Su’a-Filo was among the Tennessee Titans‘ final cuts. He spent the first four years of his career with the Houston Texans, starting 31 of 32 games in 2016 and ’17 after being selected in the second round of the 2014 draft.

The Cowboys have been searching for interior line depth since losing Marcus Martin in the preseason to a toe injury. They traded for Parker Ehinger from the Kansas City Chiefs, but he was placed on injured reserve last week with a knee injury that will require surgery. They also claimed center Adam Redmond off waivers from the Buffalo Bills after the final cuts, but he was inactive against Carolina.

Rookie Connor Williams gave up two sacks in the loss to the Panthers, but the Cowboys believe he will get better the more he plays.

“Obviously it’s a challenging task for him Week 1 to go against that defensive front,” coach Jason Garrett said. “There were some good things for him. There’s some areas in pass protection that wasn’t good enough and we’ll continue to work with him on that.”

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Matt Ryan needs to help Falcons regain offensive swagger – Atlanta Falcons Blog

PHILADELPHIA — The Atlanta Falcons were confident their offense would come to life once the regular season started and Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman returned to the lineup after sitting out in preseason.

Not exactly.

Thursday’s season-opener against the Eagles was about survival as both teams struggled offensively and turned the ball over. But from the Falcons’ perspective, it was far from the ideal way to start Year 2 under offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.

The 18-12 loss magnified the same red-zone issues that plagued the Falcons last season. The Falcons finished one for five in the red zone, and Ryan threw a red-zone interception. Early in the game, the Falcons didn’t even have Jones on the field during one red-zone opportunity that he set up with a long pass play.

Like last year’s divisional playoff game against these same Eagles, the Falcons had a chance to win it in the end. And just like what happened in that postseason game, the Falcons failed to score with four opportunities — make that five, following an Eagles defensive penalty –in a goal-line situation from the 5-yard line. Sarkisian went with a spread look on each play, but Matt Ryan was under duress and couldn’t find his safety net in Jones, or anyone else, for the game-winning score.

Ryan, facing higher expectations after signing a five-year, $150 million contract in the offseason, didn’t get into the rhythm he expected after the offense sputtered some in the preseason. Sure, Ryan had some success throwing to Jones, who caught 10 passes for 169 yards on 19 targets. But Jones was the only receiver that did anything, really.

And Tevin Coleman had the Falcons’ lone touchdown on a 9-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Yes, the high-powered Falcons didn’t get into the end zone until the 9:53 mark of the fourth quarter. They were 4 for 15 on third down.

Ryan finished the game completing 21 of 43 passes for 251 yards with no touchdowns, the interception, and a passer rating of 57.4. Ryan was 0 for 2 when targeting Jones in the end zone. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Ryan is 1 for 20 when targeting Jones in the end zone the last two seasons, including the playoff.

The Falcons, a team that averaged a league-best 33.8 points per game two seasons ago, have way too many offensive weapons to struggle. If they don’t get it corrected quickly, they can forget about winning the NFC South, let alone competing for a Super Bowl bid at home inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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Cowboys offensive lineman Zack Martin returns to practice after knee injury

FRISCO, Texas — Last week Zack Martin said he would play in the Sept. 9 season opener against the Carolina Panthers. On Tuesday there was proof with the Pro Bowl right guard returning to practice for the first time since getting hurt Aug. 18.

Martin suffered a hyperextended and bruised left knee in the first half of the Cowboys’ preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. An MRI revealed there was no structural damage to his knee, only a bruise.

Last week, Martin went through conditioning work and individual drills in full pads. He is not wearing any kind of brace on his knee.

Like the rest of the starters, he will not play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Houston Texans.

Martin’s ability to play in the opener will help a line that will be without Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick, who is dealing with Guillain-Barre, an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system. Veteran Joe Looney will replace Frederick.

Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith is not practicing Tuesday as he deals with a hamstring strain. After last Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he is not concerned over Smith’s injury. With the way the practice schedule has fallen, this is the only on-field workday before the Cowboys play the Texans.

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Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman, diagnosed Guillain Barre Syndrome

FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick announced on Twitter that he is suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease.

Frederick was diagnosed with the disease after exhaustive tests conducted over the past few days. He has received treatments over the past 48 hours.

“I am feeling much better from an overall strength perspective,” Frederick said in a statement Wednesday. “I will continue these treatments over the next few days. I am very optimistic about my condition and the immediate future, as I have been told that the illness was detected at a fairly early stage.”

Frederick said doctors have told him there is no timetable for his return. However, it is possible he could miss multiple weeks of the season, according to several sources.

“I am hopeful that I will be able to play as soon as possible,” Frederick said.

Frederick has not missed a game in the first five years of his career and has been named to the Pro Bowl the past four seasons.

Last week in California, Frederick was examined by neck specialist Dr. Robert Watkins after having symptoms similar to that of a stinger. With the weakness not subsiding when the Cowboys returned to Dallas, Frederick met with more specialists in Dallas, and the diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome was determined through blood work.

With Frederick out, Joe Looney will start at center.

The Cowboys also enter their Sept. 9 opener at the Carolina Panthers with a question about the availability of Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin, who injured his knee in last week’s preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but he and the team are hopeful he can play in Week 1.

“I am deeply grateful for all of the people who have expressed concern for me throughout the past four weeks, and my teammates and the Cowboys organization have provided me and my family with tremendous support,” Frederick said.

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Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line depth facing challenges in camp – Minnesota Vikings Blog

EAGAN, Minn. — One week into training camp, the Minnesota Vikings‘ offensive line is already looking to its reserves to fill the void for injured players.

Right tackle Rashod Hill has missed several practices with an illness, which thrust rookie Brian O’Neill in with the first team. On Tuesday, veteran guard Mike Remmers injured his left ankle during a goal-line rep and left practice early in a walking boot.

Underneath all the layers of optimism surrounding this season lies the team’s biggest concern: the strength of the offensive line — namely solidifying the right side — and its level of depth.

This group was struck with unbelievable tragedy days before the start of camp when veteran offensive line coach Tony Sparano died unexpectedly at age 56. In an effort to provide stability, coach Mike Zimmer made in-house promotions, naming Clancy Barone and Andrew Janocko co-offensive line coaches. The blocking schemes, terminology and players’ footwork won’t change, and many of Sparano’s philosophies will carry over.

“Tony and I always talked about O-line play,” Barone said. “From the day that I got hired, we were always watching tape together and he was asking me that, with my background, ‘How did you handle this situation or this look?’ He and I were on the same page quite a bit no matter what, which makes it a lot more helpful.”

But the injuries have added further disruption. Multiple league sources confirmed to ESPN that Remmers is expected to miss a week or more while recovering from his injury. One source notes that the injury is “not anything serious” that could jeopardize Remmers starting in Week 1 and that the Vikings may choose to rest the right guard during the preseason and not rush him back. Hill’s illness isn’t expected to keep him out long.

In the meantime, Minnesota has shuffled its offensive line combinations around in a handful of ways. O’Neill is at right tackle in place of Hill. Nick Easton has taken over at center while Pat Elflein continues to recover from offseason ankle and shoulder surgery. Tom Compton and Danny Isidora have taken snaps at left guard with the first team, while Isidora moved over to right guard after Remmers went down.

The early absences from starters could help develop depth along the offensive line and also may help the Vikings figure out who they want to keep as they whittle down the roster four weeks from now. But at this point, should Minnesota feel the need to stabilize this unit further, it might have to come via a trade or after a lineman is cut from another team during camp. The free-agent market has been picked over, leaving veteran guard/tackle Luke Joeckel as one of the few options available.

The shuffling is something Minnesota had to do far too many times over the past two seasons. In 2016, injuries decimated the unit, forcing the Vikings to use eight different starting combinations. It wasn’t that much different last season, when Sparano mixed up his starting personnel seven times after injuries began in Week 5 and were a constant presence throughout the year.

The good news for Elflein is that the second-year standout can be activated off the physically unable to perform list at any time during the preseason. The center has spent part of camp lifting weights and taking isolated snaps during practice with head strength and conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama. Zimmer said he knows the timeline for Elflein’s return but would not comment on its details. Sources indicate it isn’t too far off, though. But like Remmers, the level of concern in rushing Elflein back into action takes precedence and could keep him out as a precautionary measure.

In the meantime, Elflein has taken a different approach to building the much-needed chemistry with quarterback Kirk Cousins.

“I’ve been out here standing next to him at practice and just going over the calls, the sequence of how a play operates with protections, different looks,” Elflein said. “We’ve been talking about it. I feel like that’s the best way to build that right now if you can’t actually get out there and get game reps or practice reps. Just doing what we can to build that chemistry and what his thought process is and what mine is and converging those together to make it a well-oiled machine.”

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