While he isn’t griping about the situation publicly, or dancing around trade rumors, Kyle Rudolph is clearly being forced to adjust this year.
The Vikings tight end is like his other teammates, getting used to a different way of doing business this season, with their passing game not quite where it has been in the past (it’s early and we’re feeling generous).
Through four games, Rudolph has five catches for 32 yards. For a guy who has averaged 68 catches a year over the last three seasons (and who got a lucrative contract extension this offseason), that’s quite a departure.
“I’m focused on whatever my job is, and to this point my job has been blocking — blocking a lot,” Rudolph said, via John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “If that’s what they want me to do in this offense, and that’s what’s going to help us win football games, then that’s what I have to do.”
It’s at least more polite than the way his wide receiver teammates are handling the situation, after Adam Thielen took some shots at quarterback Kirk Cousins, and then Stefon Diggs refused to deny that he wanted to be traded.
But Rudolph is expecting Cousins to bounce back, and become the kind of quarterback they gave all that money to.
“He threw for four thousand yards last year and all kinds of touchdowns,” Rudolph said. “He’s done that just about every year of his career.”
Until that returns, Rudolph’s happy to contribute in a less fashionable way to the team’s third-ranked rushing game.