Vikings TE Set to Return to Practice

Veteran Viking Calls It
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings tight end Ben Ellefson (82) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have struggled with their tight end depth early in the 2022 NFL season.

This has prompted the team to make multiple moves at the position, including their trade to acquire T.J. Hockenson from the Detroit Lions.

Of course, injures are a major factor to these problems. Not only did Irv Smith head back to IR, potentially for the rest of the season, as the Hockenson trade went down, but Ben Ellefson has also spent much of the season on IR as well.

Smith may not be coming back anytime soon, but the Vikings designated Ellefson to return to practice on Wednesday, meaning he could return to the field soon. The Vikings TE injured his groin during practice back in October, and in his stead, Minnesota has used the combination of Jacob Hollister and Nick Muse.

Unfortunately for Ellefson, this injury came just a couple weeks after one of the better games of his career. In Week 3 against the Detroit Lions, he caught a pair of passes for 24 yards. Going into that game, he had recorded a total of one reception for 10 yards throughout his first three NFL seasons.

Obviously, especially with Hockenson in the lineup, the Vikings won’t be using Ellefson for his receiving prowess, at least, not very often, However, one area that they could use him is as a blocker, especially near the goal line. Ellefson is adept as a run-blocker, and the Vikings could use a player of his caliber to help unlock some more of the running game.

There’s a possibility that Ellefson may be back in time for Minnesota’s Week 10 game against the Buffalo Bills, but even if he’s not back quite that fast, his return should be welcomed to provide more consistent TE depth behind Hockenson and Johnny Mundt.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken