Kyle Rudolph is easing into a role as one of the most important pieces of the Minnesota Vikings offense despite pain from rib and clavicle injuries.
On paper, it looks like a fantastic time to be Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph. Not only is he the new father to twin girls, but he is making his mark as one of the top targets for quarterback Sam Bradford this season.
Underneath the surface though, not everything is great. Rudolph is playing through some pretty tough pain due to injuries from his rib and clavicle. That kind of toughness is admirable in today’s NFL, especially since he continues to play at a high level.
Rudolph has declined to speak with reporters about his injuries according to Pro Football Talk. It appears he wants to keep the focus on the game on Sunday against the Houston Texans. But that doesn’t mean that the topic isn’t an important one.
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The Vikings tight end sat out practice Wednesday and was limited today to rest up for the game. While there isn’t much fear that he will miss any game time, having Rudolph banged up is scary for an offense that has marked him as their second best receiver through 4 games.
Rudolph has been waiting for a situation like this for a long time with the Vikings and he is really enjoying the opportunity to shine during the 2016 season. The tight end spoke about his connection with Bradford following the Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants according to FOX Sports:
"“It shows the confidence that Sam has in me to throw balls in those tight windows when guys are draped on my back or in close proximity. If he has the confidence to throw it to me in those situations I have to come down with the ball. I take pride in catching it in those situations.”"
Kyle Rudolph should play another major role for the Minnesota Vikings on October 9, 2016 against the Houston Texans. The tight end will need to play through the pain once again, but with so many things going so well for the young man, he’ll likely still be smiling from ear to ear.