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Rudolph 'hopeful' to play against the Bears this week

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This week could be the week the Vikings finally see the return of Kyle Rudolph. The tight end has missed six straight games after undergoing sports hernia surgery to repair a groin injury.

On Monday, Rudolph and the Vikings returned to practice following their bye week. Rudolph practice "a little bit," according to head coach Mike Zimmer, via 1500ESPN.com.

"He ran routes and did a little bit of everything, more than individual [drill] did stuff," Zimmer said. "We're hopeful but we'll see as the week goes on."

How much would Rudolph's return to the field this week against the Bears help rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the rest of the offense? Consider the fact that, according to Bleacher Report, the Vikings own the 24th-ranked red-zone scoring percentage – a place where Rudolph has thrived in his short career.

"Rudolph may come to the rescue. He has a strong track record of catching touchdown passes, with 13.4 percent of his career receptions being for scores. His catches are far more concentrated in the red zone than even many of the game’s best tight ends."

Minnesota has only six passing touchdowns this season. Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes in the first half of Green Bay's blowout win over the Bears on Sunday night.

Last week, Rudolph spent some time hanging out with Garth Brooks.

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