Tight end Kyle Rudolph, who has been out since sustaining an injury in Week 3, is targeting his return for the Minnesota Vikings for after the team's bye week, when they will head to Chicago to take on the Bears at Soldier Field.
Rudolph told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the injury had been bothering him since the pre-season, and that he wasn't fully healthy when the regular season got underway.
The injury started bothering him the first week of training camp in early August, just after he signed a five-year contract extension that could be worth up to $40 million. Rudolph and the training staff tried managing the initial tear to avoid surgery.
"I learned my lesson," Rudolph said. "I'm not going to go out there if I'm not 100 percent. It's not fair to the guys in this locker room and it's not fair to myself."
It will be interesting to see how Rudolph is worked into the offense when he comes back. He was, obviously, expected to be a big part of the offense when he signed his big contract extension this off-season. However, the recent emergence of Chase Ford (and, to a lesser extent, Rhett Ellison. . .at least in the passing game) could give Norv Turner a lot more flexibility going forward.