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Vikings sign TE Nick Muse off practice squad, waive OLB Benton Whitley

Muse will back up T.J. Hockenson and Johnny Mundt

Minnesota Vikings tight end Nick Muse (34) during the team’s training camp at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on July 29, 2022.
Minnesota Vikings tight end Nick Muse (34) during the team’s training camp at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on July 29, 2022.
John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press
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EAGAN, Minn. — Needing a third tight end for Sunday’s game against Dallas, the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday signed rookie Nick Muse off the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

To make room on the roster for Muse, the Vikings waived outside linebacker Benton Whitley, but a source said they have interest in signing him to the practice squad if he clears waivers. The team also elevated cornerback Tay Gowan from the practice squad.

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Muse had used up his three allowed elevations, so signing him to the active roster was the only way to get him into another game this season.

On Sunday, Muse will play on special teams and be the third tight end behind starter T.J. Hockenson and Johnny Mundt.

The Vikings also have tight ends Irv Smith Jr. and Ben Ellefson on injured reserve and James O’Shaughnessy on the practice squad. Smith, recovering from a high ankle sprain, isn’t eligible to come off injured reserve until the Dec. 4 game against the New York Jets at the earliest. Ellefson, who on Sunday will miss his sixth straight game with a groin injury, said Thursday he was still “getting there” in his recovery, even though he has been eligible to be activated.

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“I think it’s just like putting it in game-time situations,” Ellefson said. “I haven’t really done that to the fullest capacities yet. It’s kind of a process of getting those reps in practice before I go out there in a game.”

The Vikings had plucked Whitley on Oct. 19 off Kansas City’s practice squad. Gowan will provide depth Sunday with cornerback Cameron Dantzler on injured reserve with a high left ankle sprain and cornerback Akayleb Evans out with a concussion.

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