The Vikings lost right tackle Phil Loadholt to a torn Achilles a couple of snaps into their first preseason game, which left them down a starter up front for the entire season but did leave Loadholt with a lot of time to heal before the start of the 2016 season.
Loadholt believes he’s made the most of the first months of that time and says he’s “on track” to make a full recovery after starting to run last week. Loadholt thinks he’ll be ready to go when offseason workouts get started later in the offseason, although he can’t be sure that he’ll be with the Vikings when they do get underway.
The Vikings can save $6 million under the cap by releasing Loadholt, who also ended the 2014 season on injured reserve because of a torn pectoral. Loadholt says that’s not something he’s thinking about right now.
“Not at all. I can’t control any of that. All I can do is get healthy,” Loadholt said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “And once I get healthy, I’ll be ready to play ball. I can guarantee that much. The other stuff I have no control over, so I can’t worry about it.”
Rookie T.J. Clemmings started every game at right tackle in Loadholt’s place and had the ups and downs you’d expect from a player in his first season. The Vikings also played without center John Sullivan for the entire season and the line was a weak point without the two injured starters. Whether Loadholt is back or not, the unit needs to improve in 2016.