Now Vikings followers can begin wondering if they’ll keep four tight ends.

Rhett Ellison passed his physical and has been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list on Tuesday, the team announced. It’s the first major step toward Ellison returning from a severe knee injury suffered only eight months ago in Green Bay.

Ellison, 27, can now rejoin the team at practice afterhe’s been kept to the sideline for most of this summer, working with athletic trainers as part of his physical rehabilitation from a torn patellar tendon. He’s played a key role as a blocking specialist the past two seasons, though his knee injury undercut his negotiating power as he was a free agent this spring.

The Vikings re-signed Ellison to a one-year deal worth up to $1.75 million, though most of his money can only be earned if he’s on the game-day active roster. Ellison has $790,000 tied up in per-game roster bonuses. His contract also comes with an injury split, meaning his base salary drops from $760,000 to $428,000 if he’s placed on injured reserve.

He’ll rejoin a tight end group that has plugged sixth-round rookie David Morgan into much of Ellison’s old duties while he recovered. The Vikings could keep four tight ends, including Kyle Rudolph and MyCole Pruitt, on the 53-man roster as they did a year ago.

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