Veteran Viking Calls It Quits

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

At 26 years old, veteran Minnesota Vikings tight end Ben Ellefson is retiring.

The North Dakota State alumnus broke the news personally on Thursday as his life-after-football career begins sooner than he likely thought.

Veteran Viking Calls It Quits

Ellefson was a member of the Vikings in 2021 and 2022, playing nine games and frequenting special teams, plus some offensive plays, at times.

Veteran Viking Calls It
Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

He explained the decision on social media, “Thank you football, for the people you’ve brought into my life and the opportunities you’ve given me to pursue my dreams to the fullest. I’ve been blessed on my path to have people who believed in me, which has drowned out those who doubted.”

Ellefson joined the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted commodity in 2020.

“So, thank you, believers, for the chances you’ve taken on me, helping and supporting me in my drive to give this game all I could and to reach my fullest potential. The list is long, and I am fortunate. Everybody’s story is different, and I’m proud to say I’ve given the game of football everything I have,” Ellefson continued in the post.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

He concluded, “Injuries are a part of the game, and although they are a big reason for me moving on, I am fortunate to be in a spot where I can still walk away from the game as a player, ready to tackle whatever is next in my life.

Ellefson hit the Vikings injured reserve twice last season because of a groin injury, and perhaps something lingered into the 2023 offseason. He tabulated 4 catches for 36 yards in three seasons with 257 offensive snaps between the Jaguars and Vikings.

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Minnesota will move forward sans Ellefson with this TE room as of June 1st:

  • TE1: T.J. Hockenson
  • TE2: Josh Oliver
  • TE3: Johnny Mundt
  • TE4: Nick Muse
  • TE5: Ben Sims

The Minnesota native (Hawley) likely would’ve been on the proverbial summer ‘roster bubble’ if not for retirement, hoping to land a TE3 job over Johnny Mundt or Nick Muse. Hopefully now he can embark on his post-NFL career with the utmost health.

North Dakota State tight end Ben Ellefson falls into the end zone with a touchdown reception in the second quarter at Delaware Stadium Saturday. © WILLIAM BRETZGER, DELAWARE NEWS JOURNAL, Delaware News Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

He added a Bible verse to the end of his farewell, Colossians 3:23-24, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”

The Vikings worked out XFL quarterback Jordan Ta’amu for the 90th summer roster spot after Ellefson’s retirement.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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