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|Regarded as the premier tight end in the 2011 rookie draft, Rudolph was basically red-shirted last season, catching just 26 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns (all of his touchdowns were scored in his last seven games) as a backup to Visante Shiancoe. The Vikings chose not resign Shiancoe and with John Carlson brought on in a backup capacity, Rudolph will assume starting duties in 2012. He has sleeper potential given his solid size (6’6”, 258 pounds), which makes him a viable red zone option on a team that lacks size at the wide receiver position. However, it remains to be seen whether or not he can be a consistent weapon in the team’s passing attack. Consider him a TE2 with upside in 2012.
| Vikings optimistic about early return from Rudolph -- Mon Sep 29 4:05 pm --|
Underwent sports hernia surgery after Week 3
|Mike Zimmer still feels like TE Kyle Rudolph out less than eight weeks from when hurt. That's why no injury with designation to return. (Chris Tomasson on Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: Rudolph admitted his injury had bothered him since early August and was given a 4-to-6 week timeline for recovery. As proof of Rudolph's upside when healthy, Jarius Wright ended up taking many of the slot snaps in Week 4 that Rudolph would have received. The Vikings' bye is in Week 10, which makes the following week a realistic return date. Any time before Week 11 should be considered a bonus.
| Kyle Rudolph likely out six weeks -- Mon Sep 22 3:35 pm --|
Will undergo sports hernia surgery
|TE Kyle Rudolph left Sunday’s loss to the Saints with a groin injury and was expected to have an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the damage. Albert Breer of NFL Media reports that Rudolph will need to have sports hernia surgery and is expected to miss about six weeks while he recovers.
The Vikings have targeted Rudolph 17 times this season, just behind Greg Jennings for the most of anyone on the team. (Pro Football Talk)|
FF Today's Take: Another brutal blow for a Minnesota offense that has lost potentially its top two red-zone options in Adrian Peterson and Rudolph. Rhett Ellison and MarQueis Gray will fill in during his absence, but the Vikings don't have a suitable replacement for Rudolph on the roster. It makes the job even harder for rookie Teddy Bridgewater, who will make his first career start at home against Atlanta in Week 4.