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Rudolph says Vikings tight ends close-knit despite battle for jobs

Kyle Rudolph, entering his fifth season, has been a Pro Bowl tight end, so you can bet his job with the Vikings is safe.

But the team will have to make some decisions behind him. Rhett Ellison, in his fourth season, is considered one of the best athletes on the team. Third-year guy Chase Ford stepped in last year when Rudolph was injured and had some nice moments. Rookie MyCole Pruitt was a camp sensation until suffering an ankle injury. And  Brandon Bostick, who came over after the Packers axed him following the NFC title game fumble on a crucial onside kick, is a third-year pro.

“Rhett has always been a guy that’s been a tough guy that we ask to do a lot of things,” said coach Mike Zimmer when asked about the tight ends playing behind Rudolph. “He always shows up, he always works hard. He’s getting better at catching the ball. Pruitt is a guy that was really, really moving good until this last injury. I think he’s got a very, very good future. And Chase Ford, when he gets in there he does a lot of really good things, catching the football in the passing game that creates some mismatches for people.

“Bostick is still learning a lot of the stuff that we’re trying to do.”

Seems like Bostick has a way to go to make the team.  His playing time has been limited, and he’s the only one of the group who hasn’t caught a preseason pass; Ford has six catches for 31 yards, Rudolph five for 50, Pruitt four for 51 and Ellison one for 13.

Rudolph said the tight ends have great camaraderie in their meeting room.

“That’s been a standard throughout my years here,” Rudolph said. “We always seem to have one of the closest rooms, and that doesn’t change based on competition. We just make each other better every day.”

Having five preseason games, and an extra week of preseason practices, to show their stuff is an added bonus for the backup tight ends.

“It’s definitely long,” Rudolph said of the extended time the Vikings got because they played in the Hall of Fame Game. “At the beginning of the preseason it made training camp go quicker, getting that first game right away. But now getting to the fourth preseason game, we still have two left, it’s definitely a grind.”

The Vikings flew to Dallas today and have preseason game four against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium Saturday at 6 p.m.

Access Vikings Morning Walkthrough: Football and foot long hot dogs

Before you walk through the State Fair, scan through today’s Access Vikings Walkthrough …

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

Eric Kendricks’ development at linebacker will be a key for the Vikings, writes Jim Souhan.

Defensive coordinator George Edwards is aiming to have rookie No. 1 choice Trae Waynes be ready to start at cornerback.

There will be a safety investigation at US Bank Stadium in the wake of a construction worker’s death there Wednesday.

Gerald Hodges has never played middle linebacker before, but he might start there for the Vikings.

As always, Sid has some inside scoops on the Vikings.

AROUND THE NFC NORTH

Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press Gazette had a Live Chat where he tackled reader’s questions with some inside dope.

Here’s a quick look at five key position battles for the Lions.

Tight end Zach Miller is looking to make his mark with the Bears.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Our goal is to be the best offense in the league and be a top-ten, top-five offense, whether it is situational football or in yardage, touchdowns, passing touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, so we know that we have a long way to go.” — Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

The Vikings fly to Dallas to prepare for Saturday’s 6 p.m. against the Cowboys.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

A pronto pup at the State Fair has about 350 calories, and a footlong hot dog on a bun has around 560. So clearly the footlong is the better choice. You don’t want to go hungry out there. And it only takes about two hours to walk off 560 calories. So keep on truckin.’

Today's Scoreboard

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  • San Diego

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    1

    7

  • Colorado

    Pittsburgh

     

    - F

    3

    5

  • Miami

    Washington

     

    - F

    4

    3

  • Detroit

    Toronto

     

    - F

    3

    5

  • LA Angels

    Cleveland

     

    - F

    1

    3

  • Boston

    NY Mets

     

    - F

    6

    4

  • Kansas City

    Tampa Bay

     

    - F

    3

    2

  • NY Yankees

    Atlanta

     

    - F

    15

    4

  • Baltimore

    Texas

     

    - F

    1

    4

  • Seattle

    Chicago White Sox

     

    - F

    2

    0

  • Cincinnati

    Milwaukee

     

    - F

    0

    5

  • Houston

    Minnesota

     

    - F

    0

    3

  • Oakland

    Arizona

     

    - F

    4

    6

  • Chicago Cubs

    LA Dodgers

     

    - F

    1

    4

  • St. Louis

    San Francisco

     

    - F

    4

    5

  • Atlanta

    Indiana

     

    - F

    90

    84

  • Phoenix

    Washington

     

    - F

    63

    71

  • Minnesota

    New York

     

    - F

    68

    81

  • Los Angeles

    Tulsa

     

    - F

    66

    76

  • San Antonio

    Seattle

     

    - F

    69

    83

  • Los Angeles

    San Jose

     

    - F

    0

    1

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