Vikings Snap Counts: Tight ends get involved
When Minnesota selected Irv Smith, Jr. in the second round of April’s draft, there was talk that perhaps Kyle Rudolph had played his last snap for the Vikings.
All rumors were debunked a few weeks later when Rudolph signed a four-year, $36 million extension in June. And during Sunday’s 42-30 win over Detroit, there was plenty of production to go around for both tight ends.
Smith Jr. played a career-high 41 snaps (56%), hauling in five receptions for 60 yards. Rudolph was active for a season-low 75% of the plays but put together his best stat line of the season, catching five passes for 58 yards and a touchdown, a 15-yard strike from Cousins that gave the Vikings a 35-24 lead.
Rudolph had been featured as more of a blocker than receiver in 2019, which doesn’t exactly reflect his skill set. Entering Sunday, Rudolph had caught multiple passes in just two games and hadn’t seen the end zone all year.
Only Stefon Diggs saw more targets (8) and receptions (7) than the two tight ends in Detroit.
Other notes from Sunday’s snap counts:
-- It appears Josh Kline was sidelined for four plays, but those all came on the final drive when the Vikings were in victory formation. Dakota Dozier, who has made three starts in Kline’s absence this season, played those four snaps.
-- Adam Thielen exited the game after injuring his hamstring on a touchdown grab in the first quarter. Rookie receiver Bisi Johnson took his place and saw 52 offensive snaps (71%).
-- Cornerback Xavier Rhodes had another rough game Sunday, as he was burned on two Marvin Jones touchdown receptions and committed a 31-yard pass interference penalty. Rhodes played 75% of the defensive snaps.
-- Former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell was on the field for 10 offensive snaps but was not targeted by Cousins.
-- Fullback C.J. Ham scored his second career touchdown on a five-yard reception in the third quarter. Ham played in a season-high 39 snaps.
GAME 7: LIONS (OFFENSE)
GAME 7: LIONS (DEFENSE)