Rudolph lost for season with lingering hamstring injury

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In what was expected to be a pretty low-key press conference, Brian Kelly just dropped a gigantic bomb by announcing that pre-season All-American tight end Kyle Rudolph is out for the season.

“Certainly you lose one of the best tight ends in the country, that’s a loss,” Kelly said.

Rudolph re-injured a hamstring that had been bothering him since preseason camp. After discussing with his family, he decided to undergo surgery to repair his hamstring, which had come off the bone.

After starting all 13 games during his freshman season, Rudolph struggled to stay healthy last season, plagued by a shoulder injury for the last three games of 2009. The injury to Rudolph opens the door for sophomore Tyler Eifert to move into the starting lineup and for senior Mike Ragone to play more extensively.

If there’s a silver lining in all of this, it appears certain that Rudolph will return for his senior season, something many didn’t expect going into the year.

More to come…