The Vikings practiced today before heading off for the bye week. Among those out on the field was tight end Kyle Rudolph, who is nearing a return after his September surgery for a sports hernia.

Today was the first time since Rudolph exacerbated his injury in Week 3 and needed to have the surgery that he practiced with the team. He was limited to just individual drills, but still, it is another step in the right direction.

“It’s good to be back out there running around a little bit. Finally get involved a little bit, not be on the side,” Rudolph said. “It felt good.”

Rudolph is still shooting to return Week 11, when the Vikings travel to play the Bears after the bye week, though he isn’t going to overdo it just to play right after the bye. He said that head coach Mike Zimmer and head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman will ultimately make the determination on whether he plays.

“It would be horrible if we caused a setback to try to get that one game,” Rudolph said. “The direction that this team is headed right now, we’ve got to have our focus and our goal for the long term this season.”

Rudolph said he isn’t “limited in anything” right now and that it’s all about getting the rust off and again doing things at a high level. For example, he has to get re-adjusted to catching passes from NFL quarterbacks after being on the receiving end of passes from Sugarman the past couple of weeks.

“Although Sugs is a heck of quarterback, going out there and catching ball from those guys is a little different,” he said.

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