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TE Kyle Rudolph - Minnesota Vikings

6-6, 259Born: 11-9-1989College: Notre DameDrafted: Round 2

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Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn, US Presswire

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News you need to know

General News (Thu Dec 14): did not practice on Thursday.

General News (Wed Dec 13): did not practice on Wednesday. Rudolph was spotted in a walking boot Wednesday.

Week 15: vs Cincinnati Bengals

All TE vs CIN

FBG says: Neutral matchup. There's always the hanging implication that Teddy Bridgewater is just one rough Case Keenum start away from taking over the job - he reportedly came very close to getting the nod four weeks ago. But Keenum continues to run this offense well, and he'll likely close the season as the starter. Keenum has not only brought a relatively safe, solid presence to the Vikings' quarterback spot. He's also flashed dynamism, taking full advantage of his dazzling 1-2 wideout punch and producing touchdowns at a strong rate. Dating back to Week 8, he's averaging 277 yards - topping 280 in 5 of those 6 games - and 2.2 touchdowns, with 2+ scores in 5 of the 6. In Adam Thielen, one of the league's breakout stars in 2017, and Stefon Diggs, there's more than enough explosiveness in this passing game to keep Keenum rolling along. Always note his floor, but enjoy the ride, and take heart that he has such dynamic talent to work with. The Bengals pass defense has actually remained the team's strength through a turbulent season. They're allowing the league's sixth-fewest passing yards (229 per game) and ninth-fewest touchdowns (1.23). Granted, most of those solid numbers have been built by facing a who's who of poor passing games. The Bengals have predictably struggled against the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. This unit is strong, but not necessarily prohibitive; prolific passing games don't have too much trouble working their way past. With both starting cornerbacks hurt - Adam Jones is on IR and Dre Kirkpatrick is uncertain after a Week 13 concussion - this unit could break apart going forward, and the Vikings' emerging pass game could feast.

Recent Stats and Projections

11 vs LAR 73 5 58 0 0 5.8
12 at DET 65 4 63 2 0 18.3
13 at ATL 64 4 36 1 0 9.6
14 at CAR 55 3 41 1 0 10.1
15 vs CIN PROJ-Dodds * 0 * * * *
15 vs CIN PROJ-Tremblay * 2 * * * *
15 vs CIN PROJ-Bloom * 4 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 14 vs CAR (5 / 3 / 41 / 1 rec)

Rudolph was third on the team with 5 targets this week but did not manage much outside of his touchdown catch in the first half. Keenum directed more than half of his targets to Thielen and Diggs and seemed to forget about Rudolph several times when the big tight end came open across the middle of the field. The touchdown play was a beautiful pass and catch in traffic as Rudolph worked his way up the seam and caught the ball just over the linebacker in coverage and before the safety could bear down and make a play. This same play also accounted for Rudolph's longest play of the game with the 18-yard reception. Rudolph continues to be an asset in the red zone but does not seem to be utilized as much in other parts of the field.

2017 Week 13 vs ATL (5 / 4 / 36 / 1 rec)

Rudolph was the second most productive receiver for the Vikings this week and he only managed 36 yards through the air. The big tight end got his shot to shine in the red zone and caught a 6-yard pass from Keenum that would prove to be the game-winning touchdown. Rudolph worked right up the seam against a linebacker who thought he was passing him off to the safety in coverage, but the safety was late getting over and Rudolph had the easy touchdown catch. He also added a 16-yard catch and run on the Vikings last drive of the game to help the Vikings run out the clock. Rudolph caught 4 of his 5 targets and did as much damage as anyone else in the Viking offense.

2017 Week 12 vs DET (4 / 4 / 63 / 2 rec)

The Vikings offense was firing on all cylinders against the Lions this week and Rudolph was the beneficiary of 2 touchdowns this week. The first catch came on an easy 1-yard out route while the second was a 22-yard bomb down the right seam where Rudolph simply ran past his linebacker in coverage and into the end zone. Rudolph showcased his basketball background and out jumped his coverage to bring down his 22-yard catch. Keenum has looked more to Rudolph in recent weeks, especially in the red zone.

2017 Week 11 vs LAR (7 / 5 / 58 / 0 rec)

If you just look at the stat line, five receptions for 58 yards seems to be about the norm for Rudolph, but he made one of the best catches he has made all season on a seam route in triple coverage as Keenum threw the ball where Rudolph had to jump up and reach over a defensive players head to come down and make the catch all while keeping concentration regarding the oncoming defenders. This play exemplifies why Rudolph is such a valuable piece of this Vikings team as he is a reliable pass catching tight end that if you throw the ball up to him, he is not going to drop it as he does not have a drop on the season.

2017 Week 10 vs WAS (7 / 5 / 37 / 0 rec)

Keenum wanted to get the ball to Rudolph today, so much so he threw both of his interceptions after targeting the big tight end. Rudolph was second on the team with 7 targets, all of which were caught, two by the other team. Rudolph has not been a huge factor in the Viking's offense with Case Keenum at quarterback but continues to draw additional coverage in the red zone and on third down. Keenum was able to hit him for 12 yards on a skinny post, but outside of that there was no catch and run opportunities for Rudolph. The Vikings had a lot of success in the air against Washington this week, but Rudolph did not play a big role in that.

2017 Week 8 vs CLE (7 / 6 / 27 / 1 rec)

Rudolph was used as a safety blanket for Keenum today as he never really tried to stretch the field. He ranked second in targets with 7 on the day and pulled in all but one of them. Rudolph played very smart and would come back towards the line of scrimmage when his quarterback was scrambling and trying to make a play happen. His longest play of the day was a 6-yard out route but his most important came on the 4-yard touchdown pass. Rudolph worked his way across the short field and Keenum put the ball where only he could come down with it. Rudolph made a leaping catch and came down with two feet as the defender tried to push him out of the back of the end zone while in midair. This catch was reminiscent of Rudolph's basketball days and has been a big part of his game his entire career. The yardage total may not have been there, but Rudolph will always be a threat in the red zone.

2017 Week 7 vs BAL (7 / 5 / 43 / 0 rec)

Rudolph falls into the same boat as Adam Thielen today with a very ineffective Case Keenum. The big tight end ranked second with 7 targets, but he had to battle inaccurate passes all day. It is hard to miss a 6'7" receiver, but Keenum found ways to do it. His longest play of the day came on a 19-yard catch and run down the right sideline. He boxed out his defender and rumbled down the field for the first down. Rudolph had been boom or bust all season and is highly tough down dependent. He has to hope for a more accurate quarterback next week against the Browns.

2017 Week 6 vs GB (9 / 5 / 47 / 0 rec)

Rudolph ranked second in targets today with 9 but was unable to do very much with them. The big tight end was often double covered in the red zone and unable to break free of his man on third down and other spots on the field. Rudolph's biggest asset is his big framed body and ability to jump and block out his defender. Rudolph's biggest catch today came on a 16-yard catch and run play up the seam. Had he been able to break the tackle of Ha-ha Clinton Dix he would have walked right into the end zone for a touchdown. Rudolph was used sparingly today but was able to impact the game with the few catches he did have.

2017 Week 5 vs CHI (9 / 6 / 45 / 1 rec)

Rudolph had more targets than any other Viking this week and was the only receiver to get into the end zone on a passing play. Rudolph showcased his basketball background by going up and over corners again this week but his touchdown catch came on a broken play. Case Keenum rolled to his right and the entire defense followed. Rudolph was standing all alone in the back of the end zone for an easy 13-yard touchdown. Rudolph may have had the volume of targets but he also suffered from inconsistent quarterbacks and small check down routes for short yardage. The offense as a whole will need to perform better next week against the Packers if they want to try and keep pace in a competitive NFC North.

2017 Week 4 vs DET (4 / 2 / 34 / 0 rec)

Case Keenum and Rudolph do not seem to have the same connection that Rudolph does with Sam Bradford. The big tight end was not utilized until the second half and even then Keenum was unable to get him the ball when it mattered. All four of Rudolph's targets came on the second to last drive of the game and most balls were thrown high where Rudolph had to make a spectacular catch to get to. The best play came on a 19-yard go route where Rudolph simply out jumped the corner and came down with the ball like a basketball rebound. It would be hard to overthrow the 6'7 tight end but Case Keenum found a way to do so. Rudolph is a much better player when Sam Bradford leads the offense and he must be eagerly awaiting his return.

2017 Week 3 vs TB (2 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

Kyle Rudolph did not play a major role this week but he did not need to. The big tight end was only targeted twice in the passing game and played more of a role blocking than anything else. Rudolph's value comes from his red zone ability but Case Keenum never even looked his way with how well Diggs and Thielen were playing. Rudolph should see his volume increase when Sam Bradford is healthy and starting again.

2017 Week 2 vs PIT (6 / 4 / 45 / 0 rec)

Kyle Rudolph had one of the top catches of the night as well as the longest play from scrimmage for the Vikings. The big tight end worked up the seam and found some space between the linebacker and safety. Case Keenum was again hit on his throw and the ball sailed high. Rudolph leaped with one hand and was able to tip the ball to himself for a big gain. Outside of this catch, the big tight end was very quiet today. The entire offensive game plan was thrown off when Sam Bradford was ruled out and it threw everyone off their game.

2017 Week 1 vs NO (3 / 3 / 26 / 1 rec)

Rudolph looks to be the Vikings number one threat in the redzone as the big tight end has proven to be able to catch the ball in traffic. Bradford went to Rudolph late from the 15-yard line to put the Vikings back up by two scores late in this one. Rudolph ran a perfect post route to make a catch over the middle for the Vikings third touchdown of the night. Bradford also used Rudolph in third and long situations to sustain drives and keep the Vikings offense on the field. Rudolph did not have a big yardage total but did throw a key block in Dalvin Cook's 33-yard scamper in the second half.


Latest News

Vikings | Kyle Rudolph misses practice (Thu Dec 14, 01:11 PM) - Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) did not practice for a second straight day Thursday, Dec. 14.

Our View: Rudolph has scored touchdowns two weeks in a row, so going to Cincinnati, which is a team on the ropes. We like him as a solid TE1 this week in a game Minnesota not only should win, but has to.
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Vikings | Wednesday practice report for Minnesota (Wed Dec 13, 05:16 PM) - Minnesota Vikings CB Mackensie Alexander (ribs), TE Blake Bell (shoulder), LB Emmanuel Lamur (foot), OT Riley Reiff (ankle), CB Xavier Rhodes (hip) and TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) were unable to practice Wednesday, Dec. 13. C Pat Elflein (shoulder), NT Linval Joseph (knee), RB Jerick McKinnon (shoulder), TE David Morgan II (concussion), OT Mike Remmers (back), OT Jeremiah Sirles (knee), NT Shamar Stephen (shoulder) and WR Adam Thielen (knee) were listed as a limited participants.

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Vikings | Kyle Rudolph in jeopardy to miss Week 15? (Wed Dec 13, 01:18 PM) - Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) was spotted in a walking boot Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Our View: If he plays, Rudolph would be a low-end TE1 against the Bengals on Sunday. Head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters he'll know more about Rudolph's availability for Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals later in the week.
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Vikings | Kyle Rudolph scores again (Sun Dec 10, 05:20 PM) - Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph finished with three receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown on his five targets in Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers.

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Vikings | Kyle Rudolph catches TD pass (Sun Dec 3, 04:29 PM) - Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph caught four passes for 36 yards and one touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13.

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More News

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15vs Cincinnati Bengals
16@ Green Bay Packers
17vs Chicago Bears