Vikings claim Minnesota native Ben Ellefson off waivers, adding depth to tight end

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The Vikings need tight end help now that Irv Smith Jr. is likely out for the year.

So Minnesota elected to bring a player back to his home state. The Vikings claimed Ben Ellefson off waivers. Ellefson is a native of Hawley, Minnesota, who went on to play collegiate football at NDSU.

Ellefson was waived by the Jaguars this offseason. He signed with Jacksonville in 2020 as an undrafted free agent. He started the season on the practice squad, but he was elevated to the active roster at times before he ended up getting fully promoted to the 53-man team. He finished his rookie season with seven games played and four starts.

He tallied just one reception for 10 yards this past season, so he was used more as a blocking tight end. That will still help the Vikings, though. The team needs all the tight end depth it can get now.