Rudolph had the surgery Sept. 23 in Philadelphia. A league source initially estimated Rudolph would be out six weeks, according to ESPN.com's Ben Goessling, and Tuesday will mark three.
Rudolph has begun upper-body weight work, Goessling reports, but he is still a ways away from on-field drills.
"That's completely up to the guys in the training room," Rudolph told Goessling on Friday when asked when he could return to the practice field. "I'm just going to continue to do what I can. Today was better than yesterday; yesterday was better than the day before. As long as I have no setbacks, I'm going to continue to push as hard as I can, obviously under their control."
The 24-year-old, who had 10 catches for 96 yards and a touchdown in the first three games of the season, missed half of last year with a broken foot. He has 1,151 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in four seasons (42 games) with the Vikings.
Minnesota (2-3) is one game behind Detroit in the NFC North.
- Chris Mascaro