Since being placed on injured reserve, Matt Kalil can generally shuffle between the trainer’s room, locker room and equipment room at Winter Park without being bothered by reporters.
Monday was different after the Vikings lost a fourth offensive tackle to a season-ending injury when left tackle Jake Long tore his Achilles tendon on Sunday in Washington.
They won’t be getting any help from injured reserve. Kalil, off crutches and walking after September hip surgery to repair a torn labrum, said his return this season would be a “long shot.”
When announcing Kalil’s surgery two months ago, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said he believed the injury was season ending.
“At a certain point, my hip may be healthy,” Kalil said. “But not working out [during rehab], it’s a different situation.”
At tackle, the Vikings currently sit with just T.J. Clemmings, Jeremiah Sirles and rookie Willie Beavers. Long is expected to be placed on injured reserve this week. They’ve already lost Kalil, Andre Smith and guard/tackle Mike Harris to season-ending ailments.
The Vikings can bring one player off injured reserve and, right now, the most likely candidate appears to be running back Adrian Peterson, who underwent surgery Sept. 22 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. A December return would be the most likely for Peterson, if he’s able to play again this season.
Kalil, 27, has had his five-year NFL career undercut by injuries ever since he was a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie in 2012. Despite dealing with shoulder, knee and back problems, among others, Kalil didn’t miss a start until he underwent hip surgery in September.
Kalil is a free agent in March.