It is expected that Minnesota Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt will announce his retirement from professional football on Monday, July 25, 2016.
Sometimes there are injuries that players just can’t seem to bounce back from. Either they lose their ability to play their game the way they like or their confidence gets crushed, but either way, serious injuries can change an NFL team and a player’s career forever.
This is the case with Minnesota Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt. For a man of his size with the movement expected of him at the position, the Achilles tendon injury he suffered last year during preseason left many fans and experts unsure of his ability to return to the team and play at a high level.
The levels of concern about his return increased dramatically when he accepted a pay cut during the offseason. Following that, the writing appeared to be on the wall and expectations regarding his ability to contribute dropped dramatically.
However, it appears as though the Minnesota Vikings will need to move on this season and the rest of the franchise’s future, without their road-grading right tackle. According to Adam Schefter on Twitter, the big man is expected to announce his retirement later today.
Loadholt was a former second round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft where he was picked #54 overall. The Honolulu, Hawaii native was a big part of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s incredible 2,000 yard rushing season.
The Minnesota Vikings went into free agency to get insurance at the right tackle position by signing right tackle Andre Smith. But Loadholt leaves behind some big shoes to fill, literally and figuratively. Hopefully the former Cincinnati Bengals blocker can take on this role and make a big impact to help out quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as well as the Vikings run game.
If Phil Loadholt does retire today, he will walk away from the game at age 30. However, the age of a player isn’t as important as their body’s ability to play at a high level, and that could be the biggest factor in the big man’s reported decision to retire. Thank you to Phil Loadholt for the great times you helped the Minnesota Vikings offense.