Offensive tackle Phil Loadholt has officially retired from the NFL.
The Vikings placed the 30-year-old on the reserve/retired list this afternoon after officially informing them today that he planned to retire.
Loadholt was placed on injured reserve in each of the previous two seasons, only playing in 11 of the team’s 32 regular-season games over that span. In 2014, a torn pectoral ended his season early. In 2015, he tore his Achilles’ tendon during the preseason and was lost for the entire season.
Loadholt was back on the field for spring workouts and often lined up as the first-team starting right tackle during practices open to the media. But after experiencing another injury-related setback sometime in the past few weeks, the 6-foot-8, 345-pound tackle decided it was time to retire.
“This chapter in my life is closing and I look forward to seeing what the next one brings,” Loadholt said in a statement. “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, who took a pay cut in March to remain on the team, was slated to battle with free-agent addition Andre Smith to start at right tackle.
The Vikings drafted Loadholt in the second round in 2009 and he started right away. He missed just two games in his first five seasons and was one of the NFL’s better right tackles before injuries derailed his career.
Loadholt has also been a respected voice in the Vikings locker room and a strong representative of the organization in the community.
“When you think of the Vikings you think of players like Phil Loadholt,” said owner Mark Wilf in a statement. “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.”