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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Hip surgery will very likely end LT Matt Kalil’s season, Vikings tab replacement

By Derek Wetmore

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil might be done for the year.

The fourth-year tackle out of USC needs surgery on his balky hip, head coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday. The Vikings have placed him on IR, which more than likely will end his season.

Technically, Kalil could return later this year, but Zimmer said the team is assuming this is it for Kalil. He was playing on the fifth year of his rookie deal, and is eligible for free agency this offseason, which might mean that his time in purple and gold is over.

That question is for another day. Presently, the Vikings have to worry about replacing yet another fallen offensive lineman, and more moving parts on an offense that hasn’t been stable at any point this season.

“Losing Matt is a big deal for us,” left guard Alex Boone said. “He’s a hell of a player and a great leader, but the game has to go on.”

As Zimmer said Wednesday, it’s not exactly easy to find a replacement left tackle who’s unemployed at this time of the year. “At this point in time I think it’s a little hard to find left tackles that are on the street. So we plan on going with what we’ve got.”

Second-year tackle T.J. Clemmings will fill in for Kalil at left tackle, Zimmer said.

“He’s done pretty good, really, in the preseason,” Zimmer said of Clemmings. “He’s a good athlete and he’s going to compete and fight.”

On an already shaky offensive line, any blow to the depth is not good news. Consider the names the Vikings have lost from their supposed depth along the line this summer:

Kalil, on IR needing hip surgery.

Mike Harris, on NFI with undisclosed injury/illness.

John Sullivan, cut in favor of Joe Berger at center.

Phil Loadholt, retired because of injury.

Not to mention the fact that star running back Adrian Peterson needs surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and it’s possible he could be done for the season as well.

Zimmer was short with many of his answers on Wednesday, and it’s fair to say that he’s been dealt a series of blows with the offensive line, Peterson and presumed starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater being out for the year. Zimmer’s mentality is relentless, though, and he said he doesn’t think his team is going to sit around and mope about its situation.

“My emotions? I feel like we’ve got to go back to work and go play Carolina,” Zimmer said,

“This team, to me…they’re resilient, they’re tough and competitive. Obviously we’ve had a few setbacks, but … Hey, we’re not the type of team that’s going to sit back and cry about what’s happened. We’re going to go forward and try to find a way.”

The post Hip surgery will very likely end LT Matt Kalil’s season, Vikings tab replacement appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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