ST. PAUL, Minn. — Kyle Rudolph’s breakthrough season has earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Rudolph, the Minnesota Vikings’ second-year tight end, was named to the NFC team on Tuesday, replacing the Atlanta Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez, who won’t play because of an injury.
Rudolph was Minnesota’s second-round pick in 2011 and developed into one of the top receiving options for the Vikings. He set career highs across the board as the No. 1 tight end and was second on the team with 53 catches and 493 receiving yards.
Rudolph caught a team-high nine touchdown passes, which tied for the most among NFC tight ends. It was the second-highest total by a tight end in team history. Visanthe Shiancoe caught 11 touchdown passes in 2009.
Rudolph is the first Vikings tight end to make the Pro Bowl since Byron Chamberlain in 2001. He joins teammates Jared Allen, Jerome Felton, Chad Greenway, Adrian Peterson and Blair Walsh on the NFC team.