All things considered, Sam Bradford played pretty well last season. Yes, the Vikings finished 8-8 after a 5-0 start, but Bradford fared well as an emergency fill-in, completing 71.6 percent of his passes for 3,877 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions in 15 games.
Minnesota tight Kyle Rudolph expects even more production from Bradford in 2017.
“I think it’ll be a huge year for Sam coming off of an entire offseason being around not only our team, but the offense and our offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmur,” Rudolph said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “Last year, Sam came in and set foot in the door 15 days before his first start. Had to learn the offense, had to learn the personnel, and then had Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football.”
Bradford threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns in a 17-14 win.
“He’s a pretty special kid, and he’s extremely talented,” Rudolph said. “He gets a bad rap, and he’s gone through a lot of injuries in his career. I think Sam’s in a great position here in Minnesota to have a huge year next year.”
The same could be said for Rudolph, who last year set career-highs in catches (83), targets (132), yards (840) and touchdowns (seven).
Nevertheless, he occasionally upset fantasy football players.
“Yeah, the best is when they wonder why you didn’t get the ball more,” Rudolph said, laughing. “They’re like, ‘Oh, man, you cost me in fantasy last week. Why didn’t you get more balls?’ It’s funny. You kind of laugh and giggle and think to yourself, ‘Yeah, I was thinking that the whole game. Two catches is enough for today. I’m going to call the rest of the day off and make sure that I screw over a bunch of fantasy owners.’ No, I wish I got the ball more too.”
Rudolph can begin that quest Sept. 11. Minnesota opens the season at home against New Orleans on Monday Night Football at 7:10 p.m. ET.