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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Pat Elflein ready for his biggest stage yet

By Matthew Coller

Minnesota Vikings center Pat Elflein has played in some important games in college. As a sophomore at Ohio State, he started all 15 games for the National Championship-winning Buckeyes.

But on Sunday, the rookie standout will play on the biggest stage of his career as the Vikings face the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional round of the playoffs.

“You try not to make it too big and make it bigger than it is, but it’s the playoffs in the NFL, so it is big,” Elflein said. “You don’t want to get you out of your routine and what got you to where you’re at. Just remembering how you got 13 wins, what got you there. Don’t lose sight of that, but realize the challenge ahead of us.”

Elflein missed two games this season both with the same shoulder injury. In both games – a loss to Carolina and a win over Chicago. His absence was particularly noticeable in the screen game. Running back Jerick McKinnon totaled two receptions for nine yards in the two games that Elflein was missing.

The rookie center said Monday that the bye week helped him heal and he will be set to play against the Saints.

“I’m ready, I’m practicing, I’m rolling,” he said.

The last time Elflein matched up with the Saints was in his NFL debut on Monday Night Football. The Vikings’ offense dominated the Saints defense, passing for 346 yards and rushing for over 100 yards.

“There are similarities, but there are also differences,” Elflein said. “Teams change and evolve throughout the season. We played them a long time ago, so they’re a little different but you see come carry over.”

The post Pat Elflein ready for his biggest stage yet appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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