The Vikings and TE Kyle Rudolph agreed Monday to a 4-year, $36 million extension, according to multiple reports. The deal ends months of speculation that Rudolph could be traded and locks him into Minnesota for at least the next couple of years. It also undercuts the short-term fantasy upside for 2nd-round rookie TE Irv Smith. Trade rumors have helped keep Rudolph down at TE15 in early PlayDraft ADP. He has finished each of the past 3 seasons among the top 9 TEs across fantasy formats.
UPDATE: Pro Football Talk reports that Rudolph's deal includes $16.25 million in "total guarantees," which makes it sound more like a 2-year deal with 2 cuttable years at the end. We'll see about the full details, of course.
The Vikings nabbed Alabama TE Irv Smith with the 50th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. After totaling just 14 catches across his first 2 years on campus, Smith broke out for a 44-710-7 line this past season. All 3 marks ranked among the top 4 on a stacked Alabama squad. Smith averaged a big 16.1 yards per catch and led this TE class in yards per route run. He disappointed with a 22nd percentile SPARQ score at the Combine but plays with good speed and fluidity. Turning just 21 in August, Smith still has lots of room for growth. He’ll start his NFL career behind Kyle Rudolph, but Rudolph’s contract is up after this season. Smith should take over as Minnesota’s top pass-catching TE in 2020.
The Vikings have hired Gary Kubiak as an "offensive advisor." He was originally reported to be taking Denver's OC job, but that evidently fell through. It's unclear exactly what Kubiak's role will be alongside OC Kevin Stefanski, but he brings 22 seasons of experience as an NFL HC or OC.
The Vikings have fired OC John DeFilippo. He was a hot name this offseason but lasts just 13 games in Minnesota. DeFilippo's offense has underachieved, ranking just 17th in yards and 20th in points. We also heard whispers that he and HC Mike Zimmer weren't on the same page, with Zimmer preferring a run-heavy offense and DeFilippo favoring the pass. We'll see who the Vikings tab as their interim OC, but the change could mean more carries for RB Dalvin Cook going forward.
Update: The Vikings have promoted former QBs coach Kevin Stefanski to interim OC. Stefanski has been with the team since 2006 but has never called plays.
Vikings new OC John DeFelippo isn't making major changes to last year's offense under Pat Shurmur. Both DeFelippo and Shurmur run West Coast systems. “The things you keep the same are formations, for example — what you call formations,” DeFilippo explained. “We’re calling the run game pretty much the exact same. If there was a [similar] pass concept that we’re putting in, we called it what they called it last season. Coach Shurmur got taught by Coach [Andy] Reid, and like the purest West Coast guys. I’ve learned from some of the guys on that tree, as well. So from a philosophical standpoint, there’s very similar things." Between the OC switch and the arrival of QB Kirk Cousins, there have been significant changes to a Vikings offense that ranked 11th in yards and 10th in points last year. Some continuity in offensive scheme should help the transition go more smoothly.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph has been a limited participant in spring workouts. He's recovering from post-season surgery to his right ankle. Barring a setback, he should be ready to rock come training camp. Prior to injuring that ankle in Week 14, Rudolph was sitting 7th among TEs in PPR points.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph revealed that he underwent surgery on his right ankle after the season. He hurt it in Week 14 and, although he didn't miss a game, he totaled just 11 catches over Minnesota's final 5 games (including playoffs). We don't have a timeline for Rudolph's return to the field, but there's no reason to believe at this point that the ankle will be an issue in 2018.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) was listed as a full participant in Wednesday's practice. He played limited snaps over the final 3 weeks of the regular season, totaling just 6 targets and 4 catches. It looks like the bye week has Rudolph much closer to 100% now -- and ready for his usual role against the Saints on Sunday.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) is active for today’s game against the Bengals. Originally ruled out by HC Mike Zimmer, Rudolph was first listed as doubtful and then upgraded to questionable. It’s still unclear how much he’ll play today after missing practice all week. That leaves Rudolph as a risky TE1.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) is expected to play against the Bengals, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Rudolph has evidently made major progress since being listed as doubtful on Friday afternoon. There's still elevated risk here, but there's also plenty of upside vs. a Cincinnati defense that Football Outsiders ranks 28th in TE coverage.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) has been upgraded to questionable for Sunday's game against the Bengals. He was originally ruled out by HC Mike Zimmer before being officially listed as doubtful. So he's trending in the right direction. We'll find out his official status by noon ET tomorrow. If active, he'll still be a risky fantasy play after not practicing at all this week.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Bengals. He didn't practice all week and isn't a lock to be back for Week 16. With David Morgan now atop the TE depth chart for this week, look for WRs Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs to soak up extra targets.
Update: Minnesota has changed Rudolph's official listing to "doubtful." He still won't play on Sunday.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) remained sidelined on Thursday. He's looking genuinely questionable for this weekend's game against the Bengals. We'll see if Rudolph is able to get back on the field tomorrow -- and then how he's listed on the final injury report.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph is dealing with an ankle injury that has his Week 15 status in question, HC Mike Zimmer said Wednesday. Rudolph reportedly hurt the ankle late in last Sunday's game against the Panthers, according to insider Chris Tomasson, and left the stadium in a walking boot. We'll keep a close eye on Rudolph's status leading up to this weekend's game vs. the Bengals.
As expected, Vikings QB Sam Bradford (knee) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Bucs. That left knee continues to give him issues, and there's no concrete timetable for his return. QB Case Keenum gets another start for Minnesota on Sunday after completing just 54% of his passes for 167 scoreless yards in Pittsburgh last week. He’s a significant downgrade for the Vikings’ pass-catchers.
Vikings QB Sam Bradford (knee) is inactive for today’s game against the Steelers. He didn’t look anywhere close to 100% in pregame warmups. We’ll see if he can get ready for Week 3. Bradford’s absence today leaves Case Keenum under center. Keenum arrived in Minnesota this offseason after completing 61% of his passes with 9 TDs and 11 INTs in 10 appearances for the Rams last year. He posted a 69% completion rate, 2 TDs and 0 INTs this preseason. Keenum is a serviceable NFL backup but is still a downgrade for all of Vikings pass-catchers. Expect Minnesota to pound RB Dalvin Cook as much as possible.
Vikings QB Sam Bradford (knee) is a "legitimate game-time decision" for Week 2, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Bradford has no structural damage in that left knee but is dealing with "discomfort," Rapoport adds. The good news is that we'll find out his official status by noon ET today. The knee certainly adds risk to his fantasy value even if he plays, though. We just nudged Bradford and his pass-catchers down the Week 2 rankings.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (hip) is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Bears. He'll be held out after playing at less than 100% for much of the season. WR Laquon Treadwell (ankle) is also doubtful, and WR Charles Johnson (knee) is questionable. WR Adam Thielen and TE Kyle Rudolph should dominate Minnesota's targets.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (hip) missed his 2nd straight practice on Thursday. Banged-up for most of the year, Diggs might be held out of Sunday's meaningless finale. His absence would funnel more targets to WR Adam Thielen and TE Kyle Rudolph.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph caught 4 passes for 60 yards and 1 score at Jacksonville. Rudolph scored on a play-action rollout from the 3. He’s now seen 10, 12 and 8 targets over his past 3 games. Consider him a viable TE1 option for next Sunday’s matchup with the Colts.
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