Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph emerging as go-to man for Bradford

Kyle Rudolph split wide to the left and was matched up against Giants cornerback Trevin Wade.

As the Minnesota Vikings tight end ran a slant into the end zone, Wade was all over him. But in his short time in Minnesota, quarterback Sam Bradford has quickly learned that even when Rudolph is covered, it doesn’t mean he’s not open.

The 6-foot-6 Rudolph shielded the 5-foot-10 Wade behind him, giving Bradford a big target for what proved to be a much easier scoring pass than it probably should have been. The two have formed a fast connection, and Rudolph is exhibiting the difference-making skills that have occasionally been masked by injuries.

Rudolph has 19 catches for 221 yards and three touchdowns, tied for the NFL lead among tight ends. He has caught a TD in each of the three games quarterbacked by Bradford, who was acquired just over a week before the regular season opener to take the place of the injured Teddy Bridgewater.

Rudolph has already been targeted 33 times this season, making him one of the featured elements of the Vikings passing game along with receiver Stefon Diggs, who also has 33 targets.

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