Injuries affect football teams every day, but some are more devastating than others. And on this fateful August night, none are more brutal to the Minnesota Vikings than the loss of Phil Loadholt.
According to a report from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Phil Loadholt suffered a torn achilles early in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will miss the rest of the 2015 season.
#Vikings OT Phil Loadholt suffered a torn Achilles, source said. After he’d worked his way back from last year. Brutal.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 16, 2015
Loadholt was blocking on a routine play, when his legs appeared to buckle and he collapsed to the ground on the Vikings’ second offensive play of the night. According to reports from A.J. Mansour on Twitter, Loadholt was “visibly upset” on the sideline and seen “head down with a towel covering his head” before being carted to the locker room.
From the start, the injury appeared serious, and those watching feared the worst for a player who missed the final five games of the 2014 season with a torn pectoral muscle. Loadholt, a 2nd-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, was cleared to practice at the start of training camp, and all signs from Mankato pointed to a return-to-form for Loadholt.
The injury vaults rookie right tackle T.J. Clemmings into the starting lineup, and the fourth-round draft pick will be asked to prove his value much earlier than many had anticipated. Clemmings was considered a “steal” when injury concerns dropped him to the Vikings with the No. 110 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and will now have a chance to live up to his first-round talent come Week One.
Get well soon, Phil.