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Monday, August 27, 2018

WEYBURN'S BRETT JONES DEALT TO VIKINGS

MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Vikings, who are running out of time before the regular season begins for rehabilitating centre Pat Elflein to return, took a step toward protecting themselves by acquiring centre Brett Jones in a trade with the New York Giants for a draft pick.

The deal, which is contingent on Jones passing a physical exam, was announced on Sunday. The Vikings didn't disclose the selection, but NFL Media reported it's a seventh-round choice in 2019.

The trade was made hours after coach Mike Zimmer said Elflein would not be ready to practice with the team this week, with the second-year starter still working his way back from off-season surgeries on his ankle and shoulder.

Conveniently, Jones made his first career NFL start for the Giants at left guard in 2016. The 6-foot-2, 312-pound Jones started 13 games for the Giants last season at centre, but he fell behind Jon Halapio on the depth chart in training camp .

John Greco has played well enough to gain the team's trust as the backup. So the Giants, who are tight against the cap, dealt Jones and his $2.914 million salary to the Vikings.

"He's one of my favourite guys, and he's going to a really good place,'' said Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, who was the offensive co-ordinator for the Vikings last year. "With their situation in the offensive line, he's going to have a chance to compete to maybe be their starter.''

Jones was actually pulled off the practice field on Sunday when the trade was made.

"We're going to make decisions based on what's best for our team,'' Shurmur said. "I like all the players that we have out here, and I want them all to have success.''

Jones, a native of Weyburn, Canada who attended Regina University in Saskatchewan, was the CFL's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award winner in 2014, his second season with the Calgary Stampeders. He signed with the Giants in 2015.

(Canadian press)

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