Veteran Vikings offensive tackle Jake Long suffered a torn Achilles in the club’s loss to the Redskins, head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters, including Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (Twitter links). Long is likely finished for the season.
Injuries have hit the Vikings hard dating back to training camp, when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down with a severe knee injury. Since that time, Minnesota has not only lost All Pro running back Adrian Peterson, but suffered a number of injuries along the offensive line. Both of the club’s starting tackles — Matt Kalil and Andre Smith — are already on injured reserve, while key reserve Mike Harris hasn’t played this season while dealing with an illness.
Backup options haven’t sufficed for the Vikings, as the club ranks dead last in adjusted line yards and 22nd in pass protection, according to Football Outsiders’ metrics. Second-string tackles T.J. Clemmings and Jeremiah Sirles have been among the worst blockers in the league, and will now face even more pressure to perform with Long on the sidelines.
Long, a former No. 1 overall pick, spent the 2015 season with the Falcons after signing on midway through September. The veteran was hoping to have a bounce-back season in Atlanta, but he wound up only appearing in four games and he didn’t start in any of those contests. Long, who tore his ACL during both the 2013 and 2014 campaigns, had started three games for the Vikings thus far.
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