NFL

Vikings OT Phil Loadholt retires

Sunday, July 26: Minnesota Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt identifies a defensive player during practice at training camp on the campus of Minnesota State University in Mankato.

Sunday, July 26: Minnesota Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt identifies a defensive player during practice at training camp on the campus of Minnesota State University in Mankato.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right tackle Phil Loadholt has decided to retire from the NFL after seven seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings placed Loadholt on the reserve/retired list Monday, four days before training camp begins. Loadholt, a second-round draft pick by the Vikings out of Oklahoma in 2009, missed the entire 2015 season because of a torn Achilles tendon. He missed the last five games of the 2014 season due to a torn pectoral muscle.

"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," Loadholt said in a statement.

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Prior to those injuries, Loadholt missed only one game. He was a starter from his rookie year on. His 89 career regular-season starts are ninth in Vikings history for an offensive tackle.

Newcomer Andre Smith and incumbent T.J. Clemmings will compete for the starting spot at right tackle.