The Vikings lost tight end Rhett Ellison for the remainder of the season in Sunday night’s 20-13 victory over Green Bay that secured the NFC North championship.
Ellison tore the patellar tendon in his right knee on a reception with 11:05 left in the fourth quarter. Coach Mike Zimmer said Ellison will undergo surgery and it could be six months until he’s back on the field again.
Ellison was injured on his only reception for a two-yard loss and only target of the game. He’s become a valuable piece of the Vikings offense this season as a blocker and fullback, and his versatility will be missed in the postseason.
“Rhett is really a guy that does an awful lot of things,” Zimmer said. “He helps in blocking in the running game. He’s done a good job really with everything. He’s a smart guy and we’re going to miss him. Rhett’s a good football player and he’s probably a better person.”
Ellison finishes the season with 11 catches for 124 yards and one touchdown.
Wide receiver Adam Thielen also left Sunday’s game after aggravating a left shoulder injury with 10:27 left in the third quarter.
However, Thielen said on Monday at Winter Park that he’s hopeful he’ll be back for Sunday’s home playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks.
“I’m good,” he said “I think [I'll be ready Sunday]. We’ll see.
“It’s tough not to be on the field, so any chance I get to be on the field I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Thielen said he wasn’t sure how he hurt his shoulder Sunday, “but “whatever it was, it wasn’t good.” Before the injury, he totaled 83 offensive yards including a 41-yard run on a fake punt.
Defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis left the game with a leg injury and running back Adrian Peterson had back spasms in the second half and briefly left the game to undergo X-rays in the locker room.
Peterson returned and finished with 19 carries for 67 yards and one touchdown after securing his third NFL rushing title in nine seasons.
Starting nose tackle Linval Joseph missed his fourth game in the last five weeks with a lingering toe injury.
The Vikings won’t practice again until Wednesday when the first injury report of the postseason will be released.