Now that Minnesota Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt has been lost for the season with a torn Achilles, fourth-round rookie T.J. Clemmings must step up and protect Teddy Bridgewater.
Ironic, because he was doing the exact opposite not that long ago.
Clemmings revealed a story from college to Matt Vensel of the Star-Tribune, detailing a time at Pittsburgh when he still played defensive line. He never recorded a sack in 16 games played at D-end, but he did come awfully close one time against Louisville.
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"I have a picture in my locker of me almost getting Teddy [Bridgewater]," Clemmings said, per the Star-Tribune. "I almost had a sack on Teddy. Obviously I wish I could have gotten more and been a better defensive player."
Pitt turned Clemmings into an offensive tackle, and he quickly developed into one of the best blockers in the country.
"I was thinking, 'Man, I've got two years.' That's just not enough time to become one of the best tackles in the country," Clemmings said, via the Star-Tribune. "I guess I proved myself wrong."
Clemmings was originally viewed as a first-round draft prospect, but a shaky Senior Bowl and an old stress-fracture in his foot caused his stock to plummet. With Loadholt out, the 6-foot-5, 309-pound replacement has his first chance to prove that the Vikings got a steal in the fourth round of this year's draft.