With the loss of receiver Michael Jenkins for the season, tight end Kyle Rudolph provided some encouraging injury news. He said he was close to playing last Sunday and expects to be ready for the Broncos game.
With Vikings players falling left and right to injuries, the team got some good news when they resumed practice Wednesday – the return to practice of tight end Kyle Rudolph
, who has proclaimed himself fit to play.
Rudolph missed last Sunday's game with Atlanta after suffering a quadriceps injury. He had remained hopeful up until game day that he could play, but said it simply was a matter of too much healing time that was needed – something he and the Vikings just didn't have.
"I'm very optimistic for Sunday to get back out there with my teammates," Rudolph said. "We tried (last week), but I just ran out of time. It was one of those things that, if we had nine days in a week, I might have been able to make it. The contusion just had to heal on its own and I ran out of time."
Rudolph said it was a surreal experience being on the borderline of being healthy and watching his teammates, knowing he was helpless to help them out. He had been injured before, but they had always been season-ending type of pains, not injuries that could be rehabbed in preparation for a return.
"It's hard," Rudolph said. "In college I had the two surgeries, but this is the first time I missed a game that wasn't because of a surgery. It's always hard being injured and having to watch."
With Michael Jenkins
lost for the season, the remaining Vikings receivers are going to have to pick up the slack and Rudolph said he will be part of that process on Sunday.
"I definitely plan on playing Sunday," Rudolph said. "I've made a lot of progress last week and the last couple of days. I fully expect to be out there Sunday."
The Vikings are encouraging fans to arrive early at the Metrodome on Sunday and allow for extra time to enter the stadium because of the NFL's new security procedures using hand-held metal detectors will be fully implemented. The Vikings have hired an additional 60 game-day security staff and have added 10 additional points of entry into Mall of America Field.
A reminder that as part of the NFL's flex scheduling, the Vikings-Broncos game has been moved up to a noon kickoff.
The team is also encouraging fans to bring a new or gently used coat to donate to The Salvation Army on Sunday. Volunteers from "Kids to the Rescue," a local teen group focused on helping less fortunate children, will be stationed at each gate collecting the jackets from 10 a.m. until noon. The coats will be given away at The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center on Christmas Day.
Only two Vikings missed practice Wednesday – Adrian Peterson (ankle) and E.J. Henderson (shoulder).
After missing the last month with a knee injury, Anthony Herrera practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.
Three Broncos starters didn't practice Wednesday – RB Willis McGahee, LB Von Miller and WR Eddie Royal.
Miller had surgery on his thumb Monday, but expects to be ready to play Sunday with a protective device over his healing thumb.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.