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Lunch Break, May 29: Rudy Making a Difference

When answering a question posed to him about new addition wide receiver Mike Wallace, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater praised Wallace but quickly started gushing about tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Matt Vensel blogged about the exchange for the Star Tribune's Access Vikings blog yesterday:

"I'll tell you, what's even a better addition is have Kyle Rudolph back healthy," Bridgewater said. "He's like a whole new player on the team."

To be fair, that is typical Teddy. He often steers the conversation toward other teammates, like when he randomly remarked after a game last season that Vlad Ducasse was one of the faces of the franchise. But Bridgewater's point remains: The Vikings are pumped to add Rudolph back into the mix.

They expected big things from Rudolph last season, and the lucrative contract extension they gave him during training camp was proof of that.

But three games and 10 catches into the 2014 season, Rudolph needed to have sports hernia surgery. He missed seven games. And just when he was starting to look like himself again, Rudolph injured his ankle and knee.* *

All in all, Rudolph played nine games, catching 24 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. It was his second straight season derailed by injuries.

Rudolph is determined to play all 16 games this season, and earlier this offseason he talked about how excited he is to click with Bridgewater.

"You see what my position is capable of in this offense," Rudolph said. "I've proven that throughout the course of a 16-game season, when I'm out there every week, I'm one of the best players at my position."

Rudolph's approach to this offseason should leave him in great positon to excel once the Vikings move down to Mankato for the 50th training camp in the city.

Quick Hitters

  • Ben Goessling writes about what we learned about 1st round pick cornerback Trae Waynes after week 1 of OTAs.
  • Also writing about what we learned from week 1 of OTA's in a broader sense, Mike Wobschall list 5 things here.
  • Sirius NFL Radio ranked the NFC North D Lines yesterday. Here's a look and how the Vikings ranked.

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