Rhett Ellison: Dad pulls Facebook post but TE still likely gone
By Dan Zinski
Rhett Ellison may want to have a talk with his dad Riki after the elder Ellison jumped the gun in announcing Rhett’s departure from Minnesota.
The Vikings are reportedly looking at blocking tight ends in free agency in the expectation that Rhett Ellison will not be back for 2016.
This is not to say the Vikings don’t want Rhett Ellison back, it’s just a case of a team having to make a tough, practical-minded decision on a player. Ellison tore his patellar tendon in the final game of 2015 and there’s a very good chance he won’t be ready for the start of the year.
In fact, there’s a fairly decent chance Ellison won’t be able to play at all in 2016.
The Vikings are still reportedly talking with Ellison, but the prospects of him coming back look dim at best.
The bleakness of the whole situation was reflected in a Facebook post written Wednesday afternoon by Ellison’s father Riki, himself a former NFL player, and quickly pulled.
Riki Ellison told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press that his premature announcement was “probably him overstepping his bounds” as a father:
"“That was my posting and I did take it down because it’s really not me, that decision,” Riki Ellison said. “It’s Rhett’s decision. And as you know he was not signed back as of yet to the Vikings.”"
The elder Ellison declined to speculate on where his son might end up in 2016.
The reality for Rhett is simple: He’s a player coming off a major knee injury who may not be able to play in 2016.
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Ellison has established a reputation as a good blocking tight end and a tough, gritty, solid performer and there will always be a need for such players. But the Minnesota Vikings can’t afford to put their faith in Ellison making a miracle recovery in time for the season. The Vikings are contenders and they need players who can play.
It’s a tough situation for Rhett Ellison but it’s simply reality. And Riki Ellison isn’t helping matters by going all sports-dad on Facebook.