EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota's passing game has been sputtering. Tight end Kyle Rudolph might be one way to help get it going.

Rudolph is a close friend of quarterback Christian Ponder. They were the team's first two draft picks last year, and they've forged an obvious connection on the field. Five of Ponder's 10 touchdown throws have gone to Rudolph this season.

But Rudolph has been missing from the offense lately while the Vikings (5-4) have lost two in a row. Over those games, Rudolph has a total of two catches for 17 yards and no scores. He's been targeted just four times.

Ponder said Wednesday the Vikings are trying to figure out how to get Rudolph the ball this week.