It seemed unfeasible that captain Rooney would not be in Hodgson's first-choice XI as England ended qualifying with a perfect winning record, during which time the Manchester United striker became his country's all-time leading scorer.
But a knee injury has left Rooney sidelined since February, and Vardy and Kane have impressed for Leicester City and Tottenham in their battle for the Premier League title.
The duo were on the scoresheet as England produced a memorable comeback to beat world champions Germany 3-2 in Berlin on Saturday and Hodgson was offering no promises to Rooney that he will start at the Euros.
"When he [Rooney] comes back and is fit again, he is going to be putting enormous pressure on these players. Just as these players have been putting enormous pressure on him," he said.
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"Vardy came on and did well, Kane was excellent throughout the game. I will enjoy that for the minute. I'm pretty sure when Wayne is fit again, and comes back, then we will assess the situation."
However, Hodgson insists that Rooney is in no danger of missing out on a place on the plane for France.
"Wayne, I repeat, is our captain. He has captained the team extremely well these past two years," he added.
"He has taken us through a qualification campaign, where we had complete success, 10 wins out of 10, so it doesn't please me too much when it is suggested the moment he gets injured and doesn't play he deserves to be jettisoned in some way. He certainly doesn't deserve that."