As announced on the team’s official website, the Vikings placed defensive tackle Shamar Stephen on season-ending injured reserve and signed free agent Kenrick Ellis to fill his vacated roster spot. Stephen suffered a toe injury in the Vikings’ win over the Chiefs and battled a knee injury in training camp and during the preseason. The 2014 seventh-round pick out of Connecticut never fully recovered from the setback, finishing a shortened 2015 season with five games played, three tackles, and a fumble recovery.
Ellis signed with the New York Giants as an unrestricted free agent on March 18, 2015 and was active for one game before being released on October 3. He was originally drafted by the New York Jets in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft (94th overall selection) and started five games for the team. In 47 career games, the 6’4″, 346-pound Ellis has 31 tackles and one sack. He joins Sharrif Floyd, Linval Joseph, and Tom Johnson as the fourth defensive tackle on the Vikings’ roster.