Tight end Kyle Rudolph had a busy day Sunday.
As a blocker.
As a pass catcher? Not so much.
He was targeted four times, catching two passes for seven yards in the 23-20 loss at Denver. That brought his four-game totals to 14 catches, which ranks 67th in the league, for 104 yards, which ranks outside the top 100.
But the big guy isn’t whining because it appears that he understands the full scope of the tight end position. He gets the part of the job that the Fantasy Football Leaguers don’t.
“The [pass rush] we just played is probably one of the best in football and when we do stuff like that, I’m required to be in more helping our offensive line with protection,” Rudolph said. “There will be plenty of opportunities for me down the road to catch footballs. As a tight end, there can be so many different responsibilities outside of just catching the ball, even though it seems like everybody on the outside only bases our success on receptions.”
Run blocking on a team with Adrian Peterson also takes on added importance for tight ends.
“Since I’ve been here and since 28 has been in the backfield, there’s always blocking responsibilities,” Rudolph said. “I think back to 2012 [when Peterson ran for 2,097 yards], we probably ran the ball better than any team ever. That was the way it was. In order for us to get to the playoffs that year, we had to win the last four games. We did that by running the football.”
Of course, Rudolph also is happy to be healthy. A year ago, he didn’t make it to Week 4. He played the first three games and then missed eight weeks because of a sports hernia surgery.
Look for Rudolph to catch more passes eventually. But right now, with Peterson returning, Mike Wallace emerging and the offensive line still adjusting to two lost starters, it’s going to take a little time for offensive coordinator Norv Turner to work through some kinks.