Vikings offensive lineman Pat Elflein out at least 3 games after being placed on IR

Center Pat Elflein #65 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on August 18, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings will be without a key starter on their offensive line for their game Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts, and for at least two weeks beyond that.

The Vikings placed right guard Pat Elflein on injured reserve on Thursday, meaning he’s out at least three weeks. The earliest Elflein can return is Week 5, a Sunday Night Football game at the Seattle Seahawks. Elflein did not practice Thursday.

We don’t know what Elflein’s injury is. By placing him on injured reserve, the Vikings are not required to place him on the injury report. It means Dru Samia could get his first start on Sunday, and rookie Ezra Cleveland could also see snaps.

According to the NFL Network, Elflein suffered a thumb injury at practice.

Elflein played in every offensive snap of Minnesota’s 43-34 loss to the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium.