Minnesota Vikings tight end Rhett Ellison has a torn patellar tendon in his right knee that will require surgery and a six-month recovery.
Coach Mike Zimmer revealed Monday the timetable for Ellison, a key run blocker and a reliable receiver on the limited occasions the ball has been thrown his way. He has lined up as a fullback at times, too.
Minnesota hosts Seattle on Sunday in a wild-card game.
Kyle Rudolph is the primary tight end, but the Vikings have often used formations with two or three tight ends. Ellison's absence for the playoffs will elevate the role of rookie MyCole Pruitt.
Vikings nose tackle Linval Joseph has missed four of the last five games with a foot injury.