Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, the MVP of last season’s Pro Bowl, was placed on injured reserve Monday and won’t play again this season.
Rudolph broke his left foot against the Cowboys on Nov. 3, and coach Leslie Frazier hoped at the time Rudolph would return to practice this week.
“That’s not going to be the case,” Frazier said. “We made the decision that we’re going to put him on injured reserve, so he’ll be down for the rest of the year.”
Rudolph missed one game in his first two seasons but played only eight this year. He had 30 receptions for 313 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Christian Ponder cleared the NFL concussion protocol and will practice this week.
Ponder was inactive in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens because of a concussion he suffered against the Bears. Matt Cassel made his third start this season and finished 17-for-38 for 265 yards and two touchdowns.
Frazier did not announce who will start Sunday at the Metrodome against the Eagles.
“[Cassel] really got us going there in the fourth quarter,” Frazier said. “We were struggling to stay on the field on third down throughout most of the game, and then in the fourth quarter we started hitting our stride a little bit. So I thought he played a pretty solid game.”
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (ankle), tight end John Carlson (concussion) and guard Brandon Fusco (knee) were day-to-day after suffering injuries on Sunday, Frazier said.
Rhodes was walking around the locker room in crutches Monday, but he wasn’t wearing a boot. He said he rolled the ankle in the fourth quarter. With cornerback Josh Robinson still recovering from a fractured sternum, the Vikings have four available cornerbacks, including safety Robert Blanton.
“If we don’t have Xavier, if we don’t have Josh, you still have Chris [Cook],” Frazier said. “Marcus [Sherels] is still there. So we’ll have to sit down and figure out with Robert and try to determine what’s the best thing to do. We got Shaun Prater as well. We’ll have to figure out if Xavier’s able to go.”
Carlson will have to go through the NFL concussion protocol this week. If he doesn’t pass the concussion tests, Rhett Ellison and Chase Ford will be the only tight ends available.
Calling about calls
Frazier said he received a call from NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino on Monday to discuss some of what Frazier felt were questionable decisions made by the officials Sunday.
“The fact that they called should give you an indication of how they felt about things on that day,” Frazier said.
Frazier was upset after the game about running back Toby Gerhart’s fumble that was upheld after review, even though it appeared Gerhart had at least one knee down, and two pass interference calls late in the fourth quarter on drives that resulted in touchdowns for the Ravens. The second, on Chad Greenway, nullified what would have been a game-clinching interception by Andrew Sendejo.
A league spokesman said Blandino often calls teams unsolicited as part of the communication between the officiating department and the teams.
Both parties did not discuss what was said during the phone call, but apologies aren’t part of the discussions.
“It was difficult, but every team deals with it, and just got to try to find a way to overcome some of the things that happen during the course of a ballgame, the adversity that occurs,” Frazier said.
Wide receiver Greg Childs was placed on the physically unable to perform list. He practiced for three consecutive days, but the Vikings had to make a decision on whether to activate him.
“He did a good job in his returns, did some things we were glad to see but at this point made the decision that he’s going to be on the PUP list,” Frazier said. “A little nicked up in some areas.”