Zimmer saw his tight end last week, and was encouraged by Rudolph's progress. Rudolph was limited at the beginning of the year after hernia surgery, and then missed time late in the season due to ankle and knee issues. Rudolph has already stated that his goal for 2015 is to put his injuries behind him.
Rudolph hauled in 24 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns last year.
Rudolph signed a five-year, $40 million extension in August, but played just seven games last season due to early-season sports hernia surgery and knee and ankle injuries late in the year. He finished with 24 grabs for 231 yards and two touchdowns. He has played only two full football seasons in the past six during his time at Minnesota and Notre Dame.
Rudolph is in California working on his strength and conditioning for next season.
"I'd like to think no one in the league works harder than I do to stay healthy and take care of my body, but the bottom line is I haven't been, and the only way to get rid of those questions is to play 16 games," Rudolph said.
"The only thing I know how to do is to keep fighting to put the injuries behind me and be healthy every Sunday. I know when that happens, all those questions will be put to bed and I can continue working toward being one of the best tight ends in the game."
Rudolph believes he'll be far more productive in 2015, the second year in offensive coordinator Norv Turner's system.
“It will be huge. I think anytime you implement a new system, a new staff, year two is always going to be better,” Rudolph told the team's website. "We’re familiar with each other. They know us, we know them. Now it’s about getting better, us individually as players and as a whole, as a team, so I’m excited to get back up here in April and get working with Evan Marcus and Jeff Hurd in our strength program and getting back out on the field in late spring and building toward 2015."
The Vikings are currently 6-point favorites against Chicago Sunday.
Minnesota is a 6-point home favorite.
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