EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) - Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Phil Loadholt met with general manager Rick Spielman on Monday to announce his retirement, according to multiple reports.
Loadholt, 30, missed all of last season with a torn Achilles suffered in the first series of a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2014, Loadholt’s season was cut short by a torn pectoral.
Prior to his past two injury-plagued seasons, Loadholt missed just two games in five seasons.
Loadholt was replaced by rookie T.J. Clemmings during the 2015-16 season. The Vikings also signed tackle Andre Smith in the offseason.
“I first want to thank the Wilf Family for the wonderful opportunity they gave me seven years ago," Loadholt said in a statement. "There’s a lot of people to thank – Rick Spielman, Rob Brzezinski, George Paton, Scott Studwell and all the personnel people. My head coaches – Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier and Mike Zimmer. My position coaches – Pat Morris, Jim Hueber, Jeff Davidson and Tony Sparano. The entire Vikings support staff and most important – the Vikings fans and my teammates. This chapter in my life is closing and I look forward to seeing what the next one brings. I’ll always love this game and the opportunity to do something I dreamed about since I was seven years old. But, my body is telling me it’s time to hang up my cleats.”
Statements from the Minnesota Vikings
“Phil means a lot to this team and the community. He was a big part of the success we had on the field in his time here and we always knew he came prepared and played hard every week. Phil was one of our core guys, a cornerstone for this team, and embodied the principles that we have been building here. He did things the right way, spent his whole career with us and proudly represented the Vikings. We thank Phil for what he’s done for the franchise and wish him the best in the future.” – Rick Spielman, General Manager
“When you think of the Vikings you think of players like Phil Loadholt. He carried himself as a professional and gave his all for his teammates. Phil will be a Viking for life. He was a great player and a better person. We wish him and his family all the best.” – Mark Wilf, Owner/President
Loadholt's place in Vikings history
Phil Loadholt finishes his NFL career with the 9th most starts among offensive tackles in Vikings history.
1) Tim Irwin (1981-93) 181
2) Ron Yary (1968-81) 180
3) Grady Alderman (1961-74) 178
4) Bryant McKinnie (2002-10) 131
5) Steve Riley (1974-84) 128
6) Todd Steussie (1994-2000) 111
7) Gary Zimmerman (1986-92) 108
8) Korey Stringer (1995-2000) 91
9) Phil Loadholt (2009-15) 89