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Breaking news and year-round coverage of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. Access Vikings is the Star Tribune's blog covering team news, rumors, games and all things purple.

Rudolph nominated again for NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year honor

Kyle Rudolph on Tuesday hosted his annual “Christmas Holiday Huddle” for patients at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

Two days later, the Vikings officially announced Rudolph is the team’s nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year for the third straight year.

Rudolph and his wife, Jordan, have long been involved with the U’s children’s hospital, hosting annual holiday events and, in 2017, opening Rudolph’s End Zone, a 2,500-square-foot space devoted to “allowing children to engage in therapeutic play and experience a sense of normalcy.” Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins detailed Rudolph’s community involvement in this 2018 article.

Rudolph and 31 other nominees from NFL teams will be recognized leading up to the Super Bowl in February. The winner will be announced Feb. 1. All nominees receive a $50,000 donation to a charity of their choice. The winner’s charity receives $250,000.

A panel of judges, including former players, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and last year’s winner, now-retired DE Chris Long, will select the 2019 winner.

Vikings' Danielle Hunter named NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Two of the last four times Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter has played the Detroit Lions, he’s earned an NFC Defensive Player of the Week honor just days later.

It happened again Sunday when Hunter sacked Lions quarterback David Blough three times during the first half of the 20-7 win. Hunter was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday.

His first career NFC Defender of the Week award came after last year’s home win against Detroit, when the Pro Bowler had 3.5 sacks and a 32-yard fumble returned for a touchdown.

Hunter is the fourth Vikings player this season to earn NFC Player of the Week honors, joining safety Anthony Harris (Week 1), kicker Dan Bailey (Week 5, Week 8) and running back Dalvin Cook (Week 10).

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