5 former Vikings players the team could bring back in 2023

Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph
Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages
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Former Viking No. 4

Pat Elflein - G/C

I honestly can't believe I'm saying this, but Pat Elflein is someone the Vikings may actually want to look to bring in. He's an interesting case when it comes to the Vikings and their fandom.

He came in as a third-round rookie in 2017 and played exceptionally well, starting 14 games. He held down the job the following year and was moved to left guard in 2019.

While still remaining a starter, Elflein's play declined beginning in his second season. He wasn't the same after suffering injuries to his shoulder and ankle that both required surgery.

Minnesota fans thought things couldn't be worse and called for Elflein to be benched or cut, but then they saw Dru Samia play and realized they could.

Elflein signed with the New York Jets after the Vikings let him go, and then he went to the Carolina Panthers in 2021. Elflein still wasn't great, but last season he allowed just one sack with no penalties in 338 snaps played.

The Vikings are very thin on the offensive line, especially along the interior. Their current backups are Chris Reed, Austin Schlottmann, and an undrafted rookie in Alan Ali. That is a horrifying group.

Elflein is far from a fix, but he would provide veteran positional versatility and may be extra motivated to return to Minnesota to maybe end his legacy with the team on a positive note.