|Ht / Wt:||6'6" / 258 lb.|
|Born:||November 9, 1989|
|Drafted:||2011 / Rd. 2 (43)|
Rudolph caught 39 passes for 367 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games this season.
Analysis: Outside of a few games, the 30-year-old was largely an afterthought in the Vikings' passing game in 2019, totaling his lowest catch and yardage numbers since 2014, when he played only nine games. Rudolph figures to enter 2020 as the team's top tight end once again after signing a four-year, $36 million extension in July, though 2019 second-round pick Irv Smith could push for the job with a strong offseason and training camp.
Rudolph caught four of seven targets for 31 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 26-20 win over the Saints.
Analysis: Rudolph, who finished second on the team in targets, was held mostly to short gains as he averaged just 7.8 yards per catch. He came through in a big way in overtime when he rose up above a defender to secure the game-winning touchdown. The veteran hasn't had many big yardage games this season, but the touchdown was his seventh of the campaign. He'll remain a primary red zone target in next Sunday's road matchup with the 49ers.
Rudolph secured one of two targets for seven yards in Monday's 23-10 loss to the Packers.
Analysis: Rudolph went dormant along with the rest of Minnesota's offense besides Stefon Diggs, who had 57 yards and the team's lone touchdown. The veteran tight end will be a touchdown-dependent option against the Bears in Week 17, as he's found the end zone six times but has topped 40 yards only four times.
Rudolph caught all three of his targets for 48 yards during Sunday's 39-10 win over the Chargers.
Analysis: Rudolph's big chunk play game early in the fourth quarter when, backed up in Vikings territory, Kirk Cousins uncorked a pass up the seam for Rudolph, who came down with the ball between two defenders. Sunday corrected course for Rudolph, who snapped a seven-game streak with at least three catches per game in Week 14. He's a steady option at tight end, but will have his hands full Monday against a Packers defense that held him to nine yards on three catches in Week 2.
Rudolph hauled in both of his targets for 11 yards in the team's Week 14 win over the Lions.
Analysis: Rudolph's streak of four consecutive games with a touchdown came to a close with a letdown performance. He was out-targeted by rookie Irv Smith, and managed receptions of only three and eight yards in the process. If Adam Thielen (hamstring) is able to return in Week 15 against the Chargers, Rudolph's targets will likely only dry up further. That could make him a touchdown reliant option to close the season.
Rudolph secured four of six targets for 50 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 37-30 loss to the Seahawks on Monday.
Analysis: With Adam Thielen (hamstring) sidelined Monday and Dalvin Cook exiting early with a shoulder injury, Rudolph tied for the lead in receptions on the Vikings for the night and also extended his scoring streak to four games with a memorable one-handed touchdown grab in the fourth quarter. The veteran tight end has come alive after a slow start to the season, notching multiple catches in seven consecutive contests. He'll look to keep both of his favorable streaks alive in Week 14 against the Lions.
Rudolph caught all five of his targets for 67 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 27-23 win over Denver.
Analysis: Rudolph put the icing on Minnesota's comeback midway through the fourth quarter, slipping behind the linebackers off of play action and jogging into the end zone for a 32-yard score. The touchdown continued a three-game streak Rudolph, who has struck five times in his last five games. The uptick in production has coincided with the absence of Adam Thielen (hamstring) so Thielen's status following the bye will be very relevant to Rudolph fans heading into a matchup against the Seahawks.
Rudolph caught all three of his targets for 36 yards during Sunday's 38-20 win over the Eagles.
Analysis: Rudolph's opportunities finally increased, after he saw just one target in each of the last three games, but he remains an afterthought in Minnesota's aerial attack behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. For fantasy purposes, Rudolph only carries weekly value as a red-zone long shot.
Rudolph caught his only target for four yards during Sunday's 28-10 win over the Giants.
Analysis: For the second week in a row, Rudolph only saw one ball thrown his way. He seemingly has only a minor role in Minnesota's run-heavy offense, which yielded just 27 pass attempts in this one. Rudolph is not a viable fantasy option as things currently stand and should be avoided in next Sunday's matchup against the Eagles.
Rudolph caught his only target for 12 yards during Sunday's 16-6 loss to the Bears.
Analysis: In four games this season, Rudolph has been targeted just once on three occasions. The veteran tight end played 52 of 62 possible snaps on offense, but he was mostly utilized as a blocker. It appears as though Rudolph is becoming marginalized in Minnesota's aerial attack, though he still carries some fantasy value as a potential red-zone target.
Rudolph had one reception for 11 yards on his lone target in Sunday's win over Oakland.
Analysis: Rudolph played on 54 of the offense's 62 snaps, but went out for a pass on just 18 plays, according to Pro Football Focus. Irv Smith, Jr. played on 31 snaps and had three receptions for 60 yards on three targets. Given that Smith is developing in the offense at tight end and Rudolph isn't getting many quality targets, it's hard to see Rudolph as anything more than a red-zone long shot each week.
Rudolph had three receptions for nine yards on five targets in Sunday's loss at Green Bay.
Analysis: Rudolph played on all the offense's snaps for a second consecutive week, but wasn't a big part of the game plan on offense as he was rarely the primary receiver. Irv Smith, Jr. played on about half of the offense's snaps and had two targets. Given both tight ends are getting on the field and Rudolph isn't getting many quality targets, it's hard to see Rudolph as anything more than a red zone long shot each week.
Rudolph didn't have a reception nor was targeted in Sunday's win over Atlanta.
Analysis: Rudolph did play on all of the offense's 53 snaps while Irv Smith played on 26 snaps. While Rudolph's role in the offense could decline with Smith added to the roster, it's hard to take too much away from a game where the Vikings dominated on the ground and only needed to throw ten passes.
Rudolph caught his lone target for 11 yards in Sunday's preseason win over the Seahawks.
Analysis: Rudolph was out there with the first-team offense for the second week in a row, so he should still be considered the starting tight end even with second-round pick Irv Smith Jr. (five catches for 28 yards and a touchdown) breathing down his neck. The veteran tight end's run-blocking ability may be what preserves his regular role, as he isn't much of a downfield threat in today's age of athletic tight ends.
Rudolph (leg) caught both his targets for 30 yards during Friday's preseason opener against the Saints.
Analysis: Rudolph, who dealt with a leg injury recently, displayed no clear signs of the issue as he finished fourth on the team in receiving yardage. He did all his damage on the opening drive, contributing catches of 10 and 20 yards to propel his team toward the opening touchdown. Rudolph appears to be over his ailment and should play more in next Sunday's matchup with the Seahawks, barring any sort of setback.
Rudolph (leg) participated in Tuesday's padded practice, Dane Mizutani of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Analysis: On the heels of missing three consecutive sessions with an undisclosed "minor" injury, Rudolph was spotted Tuesday with a sleeve on his right leg, according to Chad Graff of The Athletic. It's unclear if Rudolph managed a full practice, but he's clearly working his way through whatever has been nagging him. Considering his veteran status and current health concern, the Vikings likely will be prudent and hold him out of Friday's preseason opener at New Orleans, which would allow young tight ends Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin to get valuable in-game reps.
Coach Mike Zimmer said Rudolph is tending to a "minor" injury, Chad Graff of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Rudolph's absence Monday marks his third in a row from drills, but at least Zimmer addressed the reason for yet another DNP. The Vikings' first preseason game is Friday in New Orleans, so it wouldn't surprise if the the team takes a cautious approach with the veteran tight end and holds him out. After all, Rudolph has averaged 68 catches (on 98 targets) for 669 yards and 6.3 touchdowns per season over the last three.
Rudolph has agreed to a four-year, $36 million extension with the Vikings, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Rudolph and the Vikings have been hammering out the specifics of the extension over the past two months and have finally reached an agreement. Rudolph has spent his entire eight-year career in Minnesota, totaling 386 receptions for 3,787 yards and 41 touchdowns in 112 career games. In 2018, Rudolph was third on the team with 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns, clearly showing he remains one of the top fantasy tight ends in the game. The Vikings also drafted tight end Irv Smith in the second round of April's draft but it's clearly Rudolph's job for now -- and he won't be going anywhere for quite some time.
Rudolph confirmed he's been offered a five-year extension, Chris Tomasson of The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Analysis: Any extension would lower Rudolph's $7.625 million cap hit, freeing up some much-needed space for the Vikings. Rumors of a potential trade or release gained steam after the team drafted Irv Smith Jr. at No. 50 overall, though history suggests it isn't wise to count on major contributions from a rookie tight end. Rudolph is participating in voluntary OTA practices and remains optimistic an agreement will be reached before training camp, but he did mention that he's been informed of other teams having interest in a trade.
Rudolph said his agent is still working with Vikings general manager Rick Spielman to find a resolution for the tight end's contract situations, Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Analysis: The Vikings have less than $1 million in cap space and recently used the 50th overall pick in the 2019 draft on tight end Irv Smith. There's been talk of the team using more two-TE formations to accommodate its new addition, but the other options is to trade or release Rudolph, who is scheduled for a non-guaranteed $7.625 million cap hit in the final season of a five-year contract. The 29-year-old presumably was hoping to sign an extension that reduces his 2019 cap charge, while the Vikings likely are angling for an outright pay cut. The team would be taking a major risk if it entrusted Smith with the starting job, as the learning curve at tight end is notoriously difficult for young players. Evan Engram and John Carlson were the only rookie tight ends to reach 600 yards in the past 15 seasons.
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