Vikings turning to rookie tackle with Loadholt out for the season?


Phil Loadholt had tears in his eyes just moments after he was injured during the second play of Saturday's Vikings-Buccaneers preseason game.

Loadholt's left Achilles was torn on the play, putting an end to his 2015 season and putting a question mark on his future in the NFL. An MRI on Sunday confirmed that Loadholt tore the tendon and he'll require season-ending surgery, ESPN reports.

Leading candidates to replace Loadholt are on the current roster. Rookie fourth-round pick, T.J. Clemmings, is expected to get the first crack at starting while Mike Harris, the current starter at right guard, is also capable of playing tackle, the Star Tribune reports.

"[Harris] has done pretty good at guard, so we'll talk about all that this week and see," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said, per 1500 ESPN. "I thought T.J. [Clemmings] did a nice job when he was in there. He's a terrific athlete and that's where he feels more comfortable, at tackle. So, we'll just keep going there and keep going."

Clemmings entered the game Saturday after Loadholt was injured.

Clemmings was a fourth-round pick in the most recent NFL Draft, despite many experts thinking he has first-round talent. His stock dropped, however, because of a foot injury that he maintains didn't have a negative impact on him during his final season at the University of Pittsburgh.

David Yankey and Carter Bykowski, an Eden Prairie native, can also play right tackle.

Evan Mathis?

Another option for the Vikings would be to find a replacement in free agency. One name that immediately came to attention after Loadholt's injury was Evan Mathis. He was a Pro Bowl guard for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, but has yet to find a new team.

"That is one option," Vikings.com's Mike Wobschall wrote when asked about Mathis. "Mathis certainly knows what he’s doing, having started 78 games in his career and with Pro Bowl appearances in each of the past two seasons. But he’s also going to turn 34 this season and you have to wonder if too high a salary demand has kept him unsigned since Philadelphia released him."

Next Up

Dean Evason

Wild fall flat against Predators, lose first game of season

The Wild couldn't stay out of the penalty box in a 5-2 loss.

Screen Shot 2021-10-24 at 10.11.36 AM

Search for Wisconsin woman whose vehicle was found near Hinckley

Ashley L. Miller, 33, was reported missing on Sep. 24 after her vehicle was found without her in it.

Dak Prescott

Report: Dak Prescott will be 'ready to go' for matchup with Vikings

The Dallas quarterback is expected to be available for next Sunday's showdown.

Eddie Rosario

Where Eddie Rosario's championship series heroics rank since 2000

The former Twin put together an all-timer to help the Braves reach the World Series.

plane, Piper PA-32

2 dead after plane crashes near residence in rural Wisconsin

The aircraft also struck the house during the crash.

Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 9.38.43 PM

1 dead after van crashes and lands on Highway 100 in Brooklyn Center

Northbound Highway 100 was shut down following the crash Saturday night.

Jess Peterson

Woman killed in crash ID'd as 'bad ass biker chick' with 'giving spirit'

The 30-year-old died in a motorcycle crash on Oct. 19.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' defense fuels win over Pelicans

The Wolves' have bought in on the defensive end as part of a 2-0 start.

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Hartman's OT goal helps Wild stay undefeated

The Wild improved to 4-0 with a win over the Ducks.

Mar'Keise Irving / Gopher Football

Gophers pound Maryland to stay in Big Ten West race

Four different players scored a rushing touchdown in a 34-16 victory over Maryland.