Rudolph (ankle) has ditched a cast for a walking boot, as of Friday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports. Rudolph was hampered by a right ankle injury in the latter stages of the 2017 campaign and into the playoffs, but he didn't miss a game as he helped the Vikings to the NFC championship game. Entering his age-29 season, he'll look to uphold his standing as a red-zone beast, with 15 touchdowns to his name among his 140 receptions the past two years. Once his recovery is complete, Rudolph could be working with a new signal caller due to the decisions made by the Vikings' front office in the coming weeks.
Rudolph is recovering from surgery on his right ankle, Andrew Krammer of The Star Tribune reports. Rudolph suffered the injury Week 14 and averaged only 29 snaps over the final three games of the regular season, but he returned to a full workload in two playoff appearances, albeit as something less than the best version of himself. Though he doesn't sound too worried about the recent surgery, Rudolph likely will be limited or absent when the Vikings begin offseason workouts in mid-April. He may have a quarterback upgrade heading his way, as Minnesota can make a strong argument that it offers Kirk Cousins his best shot to win a Super Bowl. Regardless, the circumstances that led to Rudolph's career-high marks for catches (83), yards (840) and targets (132) in 2016 appear to have been an aberration. He's never topped 57 catches (2017), 532 yards (2017) or 93 targets (2012) in any other campaign.
Rudolph caught one of four targets for a 25-yard touchdown in Sunday's 38-7 loss to the Eagles. Rudolph capped off his team's opening drive with a 25-yard TD grab, but he was shut out the rest of the way as his team was handled comprehensively. He enjoyed a strong regular season that saw him catch a career-high eight touchdown passes, but he managed just 36 yards and a score in two playoff games. Nevertheless, Rudolph should remain an integral part of the passing game for Minnesota next season, regardless of who its starting quarterback turns out to be.
Rudolph (ankle) practiced fully Wednesday. After spraining his ankle Week 14 at Carolina, Rudolph was treated with kid gloves in both practices and games, presumably with the postseason in mind. The limitations were felt during the fantasy postseason, as he recorded four catches (on six targets) for 26 yards and one touchdown over the final three games of the regular season. After a bye week to kick off the postseason, Rudolph appears to be back to full speed as the Vikings begin their playoff run in earnest Sunday against the Saints.
Rudolph was in a walking boot after Sunday's win over Chicago after playing on a sprained right ankle. "I finally get some time off, so I'm going to try to get this thing back to 100 percent," Rudolph told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I played three games on it, so now I get some time off." Rudolph injured his ankle Dec. 10 at Carolina but was able to play the next three games. He had just four receptions in those three games and played just 28 snaps in Sunday's win. He should hopefully be back to full speed after Minnesota's bye in the first round of the NFC playoffs.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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