Vikings Snap Counts: Rudolph producing as Smith’s role increases

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              Minnesota Vikings' Kyle Rudolph reaches to catch a pass for a touchdown as Seattle Seahawks' K.J. Wright (50) reaches toward him during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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Rookie Irv Smith Jr.’s playing time continues to trend upward, but veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph isn’t going anywhere.

Both tight ends played 47 snaps on offense during the Minnesota Vikings‘ 37-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, the third straight game in which they’ve been more-or-less level.

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Despite that, Rudolph continues to prove his worth after signing a four-year, $36 million extension last spring.

The nine-year veteran had four receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown Monday. Rookie running back Alexander Mattison (51 yards on four catches) and receiver Laquon Treadwell (58 yards on one catch) were the only Vikings pass-catchers with more, while Smith had just one catch on three targets for six yards.

Rudolph has seen his role in the passing game shrink this year. He has just 33 receptions for 301 yards in 12 games this season, putting him on pace for 100 fewer yards than last season, and is averaging just 2.8 catches per game, his worst rate since 2014.

However, he’s doing more with less.

Rudolph leads the Vikings with six touchdown catches this season, tied with Adam Thielen, including five scores in the red zone. Only four players in the NFL have more touchdowns inside the 20-yard line.

Other notes:

— Treadwell played a season-high 29% of the snaps on offense.

— Mattison played a career-high 49%. The rookie took over for Dalvin Cook after the Vikings’ starter exited in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and had a career-best 66 yards from scrimmage.

— Cornerback Xavier Rhodes missed time with a back injury but played 80% of the defense’s snaps.

— Left tackle Riley Reiff played 26 snaps before exiting with a concussion. He was replaced by Rashod Hill, who played 29 snaps in his fourth appearance of the season.

— Linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks played all 75 of the defense’s snaps for the sixth straight game.

OFFENSE

PLAYER Plays (55) %
Elflein 55 100%
Bradbury 55 100%
Cousins 55 100%
O’Neill 55 100%
Kline 55 100%
Diggs 52 95%
I. Smith 47 85%
Rudolph 47 85%
Johnson 31 56%
Hill 29 53%
Mattison 27 49%
Reiff 26 47%
Cook 24 44%
Treadwell 16 29%
Ham 11 20%
Conklin 11 20%
Hollins 4 7%
Abdullah 3 5%
Boone 2 4%

DEFENSE

PLAYER Plays (75) %
Kendricks 75 100%
Barr 75 100%
Smith 75 100%
Harris 75 100%
Hunter 68 92%
Waynes 68 91%
Rhodes 60 80%
Joseph 53 71%
Stephen 52 69%
Griffen 43 57%
Alexander 41 55%
Weatherly 36 48%
Wilson 34 45%
J. Johnson 20 27%
Hughes 19 25%
Odenigbo 16 21%
Watts 11 15%
Hill 2 3%
Kearse 1 1%