Just days after placing starting right tackle Phil Loadholt on injured reserve with a season-ending Achilles injury, the Vikings confirmed that another tackle, Carter Bykowski will also miss the 2015 season. As Master Tesfatsion and Chris Miller of the Star Tribune detail, Bykowski will be out for the year after undergoing surgery for a torn pectoral muscle.
Bykowski hadn’t been expected to see significant action for the Vikings this season, with Matt Kalil and rookie T.J. Clemmings penciled in as the starters at left and right tackle respectively. However, with Loadholt sidelined, Bykowski, who was plucked from the 49ers’ practice squad by Minnesota last December, slid up a spot on the team’s depth chart, and may have been the next man up if Kalil or Clemmings had gone down.
Now, with their ranks thinning at offensive tackle, the Vikings will be on the hunt for more bodies at the position. The club signed former Giants and Cowboys tackle Stephen Goodin on Tuesday, and head coach Mike Zimmer suggests he’ll get an opportunity to earn a roster spot, but Minnesota will continue to pursue possible upgrades.
“He’s just another athlete to come in here and help,” Zimmer said of Goodin. “We’ll give him a look and see. We’re going to continue to look.”
Currently, the only tackles listed on the Vikings’ depth chart behind the starters are seventh-round rookie Austin Shepherd, raw Polish newcomer Babatunde Aiyegbusi, and Goodin.