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Vikings' tight ends not so tight with the football

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Admittedly, the Minnesota Vikings of 2013 haven't quite clicked on offense yet, but there's still a question worth asking: Where the heck are their tight ends?

Actually, some people are indeed asking whatever became of Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson. Wasn't Kyle Rudolph the Pro Bowl MVP last season?

Over at Vikings Update, the stats say that Rudolph has been on the field for 96 percent of the Viking's snaps, second only to Jason Witten of the Cowboys for tight end playing time, but he has only 12 catches to show for it. That's 92nd in the league, and his 103 yards doesn't even crack the top 100.


The Bleacher Report projects Rudolph's stats at his current pace in 2013, and concludes that he'll only catch 48 passes at this rate, a dip from his 53 last season. And he caught nine TDs last year, a number that seems out of reach suddenly for 2013.

Bleacher Report also points out that the Vikings are 18th in the league in scoring touchdowns inside the red zone, and that all of Rudolph's 13 career touchdown catches are from 20 yards or less.

As for Carlson, his shining moment this year might have been when he was brought in to cover and onside kick and managed to cough up the ball with those big mitts of his.

Vikings Update on Carlson: In four games, he has been targeted just seven times with three catches.

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