Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph targets return for Bears game


Kyle Rudolph is used to being the Vikings top pass catching target, but the tight end is now targeting his own return from an injury that has kept him out most of 2014.

Rudolph told reporters he is hoping to return from hernia surgery for the Vikings' next game on Nov. 16 at Chicago.

He returned to practice on Tuesday to participate in individual drills before the team breaks for its bye week.

"It's good to get back out there running around a little bit. Finally get involved a little bit, not be on the side," Rudolph told the Star Tribune. "It felt good."

Rudolph acknowledged the final decision on whether or not he plays against the Bears will be made by Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and athletic trainer Eric Sugarman.

According to the Pioneer Press, Rudolph aggravated the injury during the New Orleans game, but it had been bothering him since early August.

"I learned my lesson," Rudolph said. "I'm not going to go out there if I'm not 100 percent. It's not fair to the guys in this locker room and it's not fair to myself."

Through three games, Rudolph had seven catches for 69 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings.

The Daily Norseman reports that it will be interesting to see how Rudolph is used in the Vikings offense when he returns. He was expected to be a big part of the offense after signing a five-year $40 million contract extension just before the start of training camp.

"However, the recent emergence of Chase Ford (and, to a lesser extent, Rhett Ellison... at least in the passing game) could give Norv Turner a lot more flexibility going forward."

But regaining a Pro Bowl target can only help rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

At 4-5, the Vikings would need a strong finish, but are still very much alive for a playoff spot.

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