Eifert doesn’t know when he’ll be cleared to resume regular workouts or work in the May and June camps, but he says he’ll ready for training camp. He isn’t running full steam yet, but he’s been running enough that he feels he’s close to being in tip-top shape.
“I’ll be ready and healthy and strong and be ready to go by the time it’s go time,” Eifert said. “I’m close.”
“It will be nice to have somewhat of an offseason to get ready for the year,” Eifert said. “Instead of coming into camp straight off of injury.”
When Eifert is healthy, well, the numbers say it.
There is that .650 winning percentage and those .54 TDs per game. That’s what eight-time Pro Bowler Antonio Gates has in 204 games. No one is near Rob Gronkowksi’s .77 TDs per game, but consider that Jimmy Graham is at .56, Jordan Reed at .43, one-time Pro Bowl MVP Kyle Rudolph at .36, Greg Olsen at .34, Travis Kelce at .29, 10-time Pro Bowler Jason Witten at .28, and Delanie Walker at .19, and you’re looking at a guy that scores with the best of them.
In 21 games over the last two seasons, Eifert has averaged 3.9 catches for 48 yards and 0.86 TD per game (on 5.8 T/G). That equates to 13.8 PPG (PPR), which is what Travis Kelce averaged last season as fantasy’s #1 tight end. It will be tough for Eifert to maintain that touchdown rate, though he did manage 0.82 TD per game in the 17 games over the last two seasons that A.J. Green also played, which underlines Eifert’s red zone role in the passing game. If his touchdowns regress, he’ll be hard-pressed to make up the difference in receptions or yards, since his targets are low, relatively speaking.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 8:58pm
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (knee, questionable) did not practice Wednesday. Diggs sounds pretty iffy for the early Thanksgiving game. Adam Schefter reported that he’s “unlikely to play.” Adam Thielen and Cordarrelle Patterson would seem to be the primary beneficiaries of a potential Diggs’ absence, but Kyle Rudolph could also see a few extra targets.
Friday, October 7, 2016, 6:27pm
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (rib) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week. Rudolph should be good to go. He’s locked in as an every-week TE1 given how often Sam Bradford is looking his way, though Houston (#1 in TE aFPA) is a very tough matchup.
Thursday, October 6, 2016, 6:05pm
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (rib) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice. Rudolph should be good to go. He’s locked in as an every-week TE1 given how often Sam Bradford is looking his way.
Friday, September 23, 2016, 6:21pm
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (groin) took full practice reps again Friday. He was removed from the injury report, so he should be able to play through the injury. He saw eight targets from Sam Bradford in Bradford’s first start.
Thursday, September 22, 2016, 6:07pm
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (groin) took full practice reps Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Rudolph should be able to play through the injury. He saw eight targets from Sam Bradford in Bradford’s first start.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 6:15pm
Friday, September 16, 2016, 6:38pm
Thursday, September 15, 2016, 6:05pm
That’s what Bridgewater’s teammates are calling their week together in April, when he brought in his top pass-catchers for workouts in Florida. In attendance were Vikings receivers Stefon Diggs, Jarius Wright, Charles Johnson, Cordarrelle Patterson and Adam Thielen, and tight ends Kyle Rudolph and MyCole Pruitt.
Coach Mike Zimmer said Bridgewater has shown plenty of improvement this spring, especially throwing the deep ball.
Zimmer says Bridgewater is winging it.
“I think we’re just focused on it a little more,” Zimmer said. “There was a play last week that kind of showed me the progression. … (Bridgewater) saw the safety bite a little bit and just hung it right down the middle of the field about 55 yards and a perfect strike. So those are the kind of things I see (that) two years ago or even early last year, I don’t think he would have done. … He just looks more comfortable and confident.”
Bridgewater played 16 games and finished #23 in QB scoring in his second season. If he has truly added a consistent deep ball to his arsenal, it will drastically improve his fantasy outlook.
"We’ve got a rookie [T.J. Clemmings] playing right tackle and every week it seems like we’re playing the best pass-rusher in the league," Turner said. "We’ve got another really good one this week. We can’t leave our linemen hanging and leave them out there by themselves. When you’re playing three wide receivers as much as we are, the tight end isn’t as big of a part on a lot of the routes. Right now, his contribution a lot of the time is making sure we’re solid there at the right tackle and then continuing on into his route. If you have to hit a guy or help or bang a guy, some of your routes get compromised, but we’re having success getting the ball to the other guys and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish."
Rudolph has 30 targets on 335 snaps for a target rate of 9.0%. As a comparison, Delanie Walker has been targeted on 17.4% of his snaps. At this point, Rudolph is too touchdown dependent to be used as an every-week starter.
In Week 4, Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph was targeted four times, catching two passes for seven yards in the 23-20 loss at Denver. That brought his four-game totals to 14 catches, which ranks 67th in the league, for 104 yards, which ranks outside the top 100.
“The [pass rush] we just played is probably one of the best in football and when we do stuff like that, I’m required to be in more helping our offensive line with protection,” Rudolph said. “There will be plenty of opportunities for me down the road to catch footballs. As a tight end, there can be so many different responsibilities outside of just catching the ball, even though it seems like everybody on the outside only bases our success on receptions.”
Look for Rudolph to catch more passes eventually. But right now, with Peterson returning, Mike Wallace emerging and the offensive line still adjusting to two lost starters, it’s going to take a little time for offensive coordinator Norv Turner to work through some kinks.
Rudolph was very active as a receiver in the first two weeks, catching 10 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets. But over the past two weeks he has not been as involved. Owners should keep this in mind -- if the Vikings are facing a strong pass rush, Rudolph's targets may be limited.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 12:04pm
Returning from his third major surgery in his last five seasons of football, Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph has an important season upcoming for a player starting a five-year deal worth up to $40 million if he earns the incentives, including game day active roster and workout bonuses.
Rudolph hasn't played a full season since 2012, with just as many catches (54) in the past two years as that Pro Bowl-alternate season (53). Availability, not ability, is the chief concern with the Vikings' second-round pick from 2010, who has suffered a broken foot and needed surgery to repair a sports hernia in back-to-back seasons.
Rudolph showed a glimpse of what he might do under Norv Turner in last year's preseason, catching seven passes for a 21.3-yard average, including a 51-yard touchdown. He slimmed down in 2014 to adapt to Turner's vertical offense and is still listed 10 pounds lighter than he was in 2013. Rudolph turned his focus to flexibility in workout regimens this offseason, opting for hot yoga and beach exercises. The Vikings hope that will make a difference for a talented player marred by injuries and for an offense that wants to use Rudolph as a big weapon in the passing game.
The story went on to say the Vikings targeted tight ends on 85 passes last season. Nearly half the league (13) had a single player targeted more at the position. But, Rudolph's injury limited the Vikings down the middle of the field and the turnaround at tight end will help frame the Vikings' bid to build a passing game after ranking near the bottom of the league in passing yards, yards per attempt and touchdowns last season. We all know Rudolph is a reliable target, and the story said he's caught seven balls for every 10 passes thrown his way through four seasons. But, he just can't seem to stay on the field - as fantasy owners well know. Rudolph comes in 16th on our list. We don't always recommend drafting two TEs, but Rudolph in the late rounds as a flier may prove to pan out especially in deeper leagues.
Daniels and Green appear locked in on the top two spots, and depending on the frequency at which the Broncos use certain personnel groups, could both end up with play counts that reflect being starters.
Julius Thomas, who scored 24 touchdowns the last two years, left for Jacksonville. We rank Daniels 16th on our TE list, but project him for only about 5 TDs this season. While Daniels has the experience in Gary Kubiak's offense, and Green the experience with QB Peyton Manning the last four years, the story points out the job description for the tight ends is a bit different than it was the last three seasons - there'll be a bit more blocking involved. Daniels ADP is the 12th round, however. Compared to those around him, that's about three rounds earlier than Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Eifert who are ranked ahead of Daniels on our list.
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