In a conference call early Monday afternoon, Loadholt said he had a setback with his injuries after minicamp, sparking his decision to retire. He was attempting to come back from a torn Achilles tendon that he suffered last preseason.
Loadholt thanked many people in the Vikings organization, past and present.
“The entire Vikings support staff and most important – the Vikings fans and my teammates. This chapter in my life is closing and I look forward to seeing what the next one brings,” Loadholt said. “I’ll always love this game and the opportunity to do something I dreamed about since I was seven years old. But, my body is telling me it’s time to hang up my cleats.”
Loadholt was a second-round draft choice of the Vikings in 2009 and played all seven seasons with them, starting 89 games.
“Phil means a lot to this team and the community. He was a big part of the success we had on the field in his time here and we always knew he came prepared and played hard every week,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said. “Phil was one of our core guys, a cornerstone for this team, and embodied the principles that we have been building here. He did things the right way, spent his whole career with us and proudly represented the Vikings. We thank Phil for what he’s done for the franchise and wish him the best in the future.”
But, eventually, injuries caught up with him. He missed the final five games of the 2014 season and then tore his Achilles tendon in the 2015 preseason, missing the entire year. He was the team’s recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award for 2015.
“When you think of the Vikings, you think of players like Phil Loadholt. He carried himself as a professional and gave his all for his teammates,” Vikings president and owner Mark Wilf said. “Phil will be a Viking for life. He was a great player and a better person. We wish him and his family all the best.”