The Minnesota Vikings lost Phil Loadholt for the game and probably the season on the second play of the second preseason game with what has been initially diagnosed as a torn Achilles tendon.
Loadholt was hurt during a running play by Jerick McKinnon. The starting right tackle limped to the sideline and was taken off the field on a cart a few minutes later.
“It’s disappointing for Phil because he’s worked so hard and he’s such a great person,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. “But it’s part of football. Guys get hurt and the next guy’s got to come and we go.
“We think it’s a torn Achilles, but it’s not 100 percent sure yet.”
Loadholt is expected to have a magnetic resonance image done Sunday, but the expectation is that the Achilles is torn and his season is over.
Loadholt missed the final five games last year with a torn pectoral muscle.
Rookie T.J. Clemmings replaced Loadholt at right tackle.
“I thought he did well. It’s hard for me to see everything. I thought we protected well tonight for the quarterbacks,” Zimmer said. “Our completion percentage was off the charts. We did a lot of good things. When you can protect like that, it makes it better for the quarterback.”
Clemmings played right tackle his final two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh, but the Vikings initially started him out at right guard in organized team activities before putting him back at tackle during minicamp and he has remained there as Loadholt’s backup throughout training camp.
“I think T.J. Clemmings did a good job, so we’ll see. We draft these guys to get them in here and play,” Zimmer said.
Mike Harris filled in at right tackle for the final five games last season after Loadholt was hurt, but Harris is now the Vikings’ starting right guard. Zimmer said Harris has done a good job at guard and Clemmings is more comfortable at tackle.