Vikings offensive tackle Mike Harris replaced Phil Loadholt at right tackle for the offense’s final nine snaps during the 24-21 loss to the Packers on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Now, he might be replacing Loadholt for the remaining five games. There’s a report out on Monday that Loadholt will be out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. He’ll be the second starting offensive lineman the Vikings will lose for the season, along with right guard Brandon Fusco, but it comes with an opportunity for Harris to play a significant role.

“The team is counting on me to perform, so I’m excited for the opportunity,” Harris said. “It’s a great privilege to start in the NFL and just got to take it how it is.”

Harris said Loadholt’s injury was unfortunate given it’s someone he looks up to in the locker room. It occurred with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter, prompting Harris to see some rare snaps on offense.

“It was pressure time,” Harris said. “We needed to score at that moment, and I hadn’t played really; was a little stiff, but thought I went in and did an OK job. But watching film right now and there’s definitely some things I need to work on so this week I’m going to take everyday, starting Wednesday, to prepare and get ready for a good opponent on Sunday.”

If the Vikings opt to replace Loadholt will Harris on Sunday against the Panthers, it will be his 13th career start through three seasons. Harris, 25, spent his first two seasons with the Chargers and was a rookie during offensive coordinator’s final season as the Chargers head coach in 2012.

“I can just build on my career,” said Harris on the possibility of starting. “It’s a great opportunity to start in the NFL at any position so it’s been a while since I’ve played but I’m just going to take it and go play hard. I know my team is counting on me to perform so that’s just what I’m going to take it as and just enjoy it for what it is. It’s unfortunate for Phil because he’s out, but I have to go in there and not miss a beat because he’s a great tackle.”

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