Vikings Tight End Announces Retirement
The unfortunate reality in the NFL is that injuries oftentimes abruptly end careers just as they are getting started. These injuries have struck Vikings tight end Ben Ellefson often since he entered the league in 2020, and on Thursday afternoon, the 26-year-old announced that he would be retiring from football.
The retirement announcement was posted on the Vikings Twitter account, reading:
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. 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.
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.
Colossians 3: 23-24
Ellefson joined the NFL in 2020, signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent following a collegiate career at North Dakota State University. However, injuries have plagued him along every step of his career, with each season ending the same way: with the tight end being on injured reserve.
During that 2020 season in Jacksonville, Ellefson appeared in seven games, making four starts, but on December 5th, just days after he made his first career reception, the tight end went to injured reserve with a knee injury. He was waived by Jacksonville prior to the start of the 2021 season, and that is how he ended up in Minnesota.
In 2021, Ellefson appeared in five games for the Vikings, but neck and knee injuries popped up during September and early October. Once again, that knee injury landed him back on IR on October 28th. He would spend Weeks 6-17 sitting out, but he returned to play seven offensive snaps in Week 18.
The Vikings opted to bring Ellefson back in 2022, and it would prove to be the tight end’s most lucrative season of his career. However, one more time, injuries got the better of him when a groin injury landed him back on injured reserve on October 8th.
This came just two weeks after he recorded a career-high two receptions for 24 yards in Week 3 against the Detroit Lions. He played 10 offensive snaps against the New Orleans Saints the following week, but that proved to be the last time he would touch an NFL field due to the injury.
In all, Ellefson appeared in 16 regular season games, including five starts, and recorded four receptions for 36 yards. We at PurplePTSD wish the best of luck to the former tight end as he pursues other dreams in his life.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.