During his first training camp with the Vikings in 1982 as a seventh-round tight end out of Brown, Steve Jordan found himself lined up against linebacker Matt Blair in a pass-rushing drill.
"I got in a three-point stance, and my next memory was, I was looking up at the sky," he said. "Matt ran over me, ran through me, like a revolving door — welcome to the NFL. I knew I had a lot that I needed to make up."
Jordan contributed enough on special teams to carve out a role on the Vikings' roster that season, and continued mostly in that role for two seasons before becoming the team's starting tight end in 1984. By the time he retired in 1994, he'd caught more passes than any player in franchise history.
"Things start to click a little bit, and you start to realize, 'I think I can do this. I think I belong here,' " said Jordan, 58. "Based on some really great coaching, some really good teammates, I was able to make my way through the league."
This fall, Jordan's unlikely run will culminate with his addition to the Vikings' Ring of Honor. The team announced Wednesday morning that Jordan will be the 25th member of the class, to be inducted at halftime of the team's game against Washington on Oct. 24.
His 498 receptions remain the third most in Vikings history, trailing only Cris Carter and Randy Moss. Jordan reached six cosecutive Pro Bowls from 1986-91, beginning the streak a year after he caught a career-high 68 passes in 1985.
"I am rich, in terms of, my family is relatively healthy. I've got seven grandkids," said Jordan, whose son Cameron has reached three Pro Bowls with the Saints. "It's been a great life."
Rudolph deal thrills QB
A day after Kyle Rudolph agreed to a four-year, $36 million deal — which keeps the tight end under contract through 2023 and delivers $4.175 million of salary cap relief to the Vikings in 2019 — the tight end's quarterback was quick to voice his approval of the move.
"Rookies come in, and they're going to look to the players who are accomplished and say, 'How does that guy conduct himself? Because that's where I want to go with my career,' " Kirk Cousins said. "If they're looking at Kyle Rudolph, that's a really good thing for our team. He caught a pass crossing the field today that's not an easy catch — it's low, he reaches out, extends his hands and he snags it. That's one of his elite traits."
Lot of receivers absent
While the Vikings remained without tight ends Irv Smith, Tyler Conklin and David Morgan for the second day of their minicamp Wednesday, they also saw their wide receiver depth thinned because of injury.
Jeff Badet and Jordan Taylor missed practice as did Brandon Zylstra, who left with an injury Tuesday. The Vikings also remained without linebacker Reshard Cliett and defensive end Tashawn Bower.