Tight end Ben Ellefson, the Hawley native and Vikings reserve, announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday.
Ellefson, who turns 27 in September, had stints on active rosters with the Jaguars and Vikings, most recently earning the No. 3 job out of last year's training camp. But over three NFL seasons, Ellefson had four stints on injured reserve — including twice last season because of a lingering groin injury.
"I'm proud to say I've given the game of football everything I have," Ellefson wrote in a social media post. "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 had not been practicing with the team during two recent sessions open to reporters. The Jaguars initially signed Ellefson as a 2020 undrafted free agent out of North Dakota State, where he was a contributor in three consecutive FCS national championships.
The Vikings' depth chart appears set at tight end with T.J. Hockenson, Josh Oliver and Johnny Mundt.
Phillips says he'll be ready for camp
Nose tackle Harrison Phillips said he expects to be ready for training camp. The sixth-year veteran said he's been rehabbing "some stuff I dealt with" last season, which is why he has been limited to a side field and stationary bike during organized team activity sessions this spring.
Phillips was among Vikings players hosting children from two local elementary schools — Minneapolis' Richard Green and St. Paul's Maxfield — on Thursday in Eagan. He added he likes what he's hearing during defensive meetings with new coordinator Brian Flores.
"It should be a little bit more friendly for a person like me," Phillips said of Flores' defense. "We're talking about ways to get double teams off and create some movement and one-on-ones, which is always really fun to hear."
Come get your stuff
Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr., the former Cardinals starter who signed a two-year deal with the Vikings in free agency, said he's thankful for former Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. He ended up renting Smith's home near TCO Performance Center, and just needs to make sure he can bring his three dogs from Arizona — a Cane Corso, a Bullypit and a French Bulldog.
"He took [his] bulldog, but he left everything else," Murphy said. "I told him he's got to come get some stuff back."
Vikings host QB for tryout
The Vikings signed receiver Lucky Jackson from the XFL's D.C. Defenders last week. On Thursday, the team hosted his former XFL quarterback, Jordan Ta'amu, for a tryout, according to an NFL source. Ta'amu was named XFL Offensive Player of the Year after guiding the Defenders to a 9-1 record with 1,894 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions.