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.