Vikings beat Bucs 26-16, but lose Phil Loadholt for the season after Achilles tear


A big blow for the Vikings' offensive line in Saturday night's preseason game, as right tackle Phil Loadholt likely suffered a torn left Achilles tendon and is out for the season.

Loadholt injured his leg on the team's first possession of the game in the Vikings' 26-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at TCF Bank Stadium, the Star Tribune reports.

Head coach Mike Zimmer said after the game that Loadholt will have an MRI Monday to determine the extent of his injury.

Loadholt was injured on a running play. He walked off the field and was evaluated on the sidelines, before being taken into the locker room on a cart. Clearly disappointed, he had a towel over his head, the newspaper notes.

Loadholt has been a starter for the past six years since he was drafted, according to the Associated Press. But he missed five games last season because of a torn pectoral muscle.

Rookie offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings replaced Loadholt as the first-team right tackle and played the rest of the first half.

According to the Star Tribune, Loadholt will enter the final year of his contract next season and has a guaranteed base salary of $5.4 million next year.

 Second win of the preseason

The Vikings put together a solid game against the Buccaneers to win 26-16 Saturday night.

Teddy Bridgewater played the first two series and the Vikings scored on both of them: the first resulted in a 46-yard field goal by Blair Walsh, and the second one ended with a 1-yard scoring run by Zach Line.

Bridgewater completed 7 of 8 passes for 86 yards, according to the Associated Press.

Backup Shaun Hill took over in the second quarter and threw two touchdown passes, finishing 8 of 9 for 104 yards.

The first TD pass was set up by an Anton Exum interception of a pass from Tampa Bay rookie quarterback Jameis Winston in the second quarter. Exum returned the ball 34 yards to the Tampa Bay 23 yard line, and Hill connected with Patterson a short time later on a 21-yard score, according to NFL.com.

Exum also was responsible for a turnover in last week's game against the Steelers, when he recovered a fumble and returned it 32 yards.

Later in the second, Adam Thielen scored a touchdown on a 15-yard strike from Hill.

Walsh kicked his second field goal of the game, a 42-yarder, in the third quarter to complete the Vikings' scoring.

Winston, the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, played the entire first half for Tampa Bay. He completed 9 of 19 for 131 yards, along with the Exum interception and two bobbled snaps. Several of his throws were off target, the Associated Press notes.

Before the game, fans observed a moment of silence in honor of Bill Zimmer, the father of Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who died Tuesday night. Mike Zimmer will leave for Florida Sunday to attend his father's funeral.

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