Rhett Ellison is coming back fast from last year’s season-ending injury but he could still end up being cut by the Vikings.
There are no guarantees in the NFL.
Take the case of TE Rhett Ellison. Last year Ellison’s season ended when he tore his patellar tendon. For awhile it looked like the Vikings might not give Ellison a new deal for 2016, but in the end they re-signed the veteran do-everything player.
But just in case Ellison was not able to come back for the start of the season, the Vikings covered themselves by drafting David Morgan in the sixth round.
As expected, Ellison started training camp on PUP. Meanwhile, the rookie Morgan has gone out and impressed everyone including Mike Zimmer.
Morgan like Ellison is a good blocking tight end, and that makes him a great candidate to be retained when the Vikings make final cuts.
But not so fast. Is it possible Ellison could still make it back in time for the start of the season, complicating the Vikings’ decision process?
For Ellison to make it back this soon from such a bad injury is pretty remarkable and you would love to see his hard work rewarded by having him return to his old spot as the Vikings’ gritty blocking tight end who occasionally gives you a big catch.
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Here’s the big catch though: David Morgan may bring more to the table than Rhett Ellison.
Not only has Morgan looked good blocking (as expected), he has also shown unexpected receiver skills.
Ellison can sometimes make a play but nobody thinks of him as a good receiver.
Morgan to me looks more athletic than Ellison and evidently he has well-developed receiver skills to go with his blocking prowess.
If Morgan really is a better and more versatile athlete than Ellison, does it make sense bringing Ellison back?
Perhaps you stash Morgan on the practice squad and let Ellison give it a try. And if Ellison shows any ill-effects from his injury you can always bring Morgan up.
I’m of two minds on this one. On the one hand, I’m rooting for Ellison to come back and I think it’s right for the Vikings to give him a chance. On the other hand, I’m kind of excited to see what David Morgan brings to the table.
There is of course another option that could be considered: The Vikings might keep both Ellison and Morgan and cut fullback Zach Line. Ellison and Morgan are both players who could line up at fullback if needed.
Either way, I think the Vikings are in pretty good shape when it comes to the all-important Kleinsasser position. Morgan or Ellison, take your pick.