EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have lost another starting offensive lineman, with right tackle Andre Smith scheduled for surgery on his right triceps muscle.
Coach Mike Zimmer said that Smith will have the procedure performed Tuesday and be placed on injured reserve, likely ending his season.
Smith, who signed with the Vikings this year as a free agent, was hurt during the game last week and sat out Sunday against Houston. Jeremiah Sirles has stepped in for Smith, who was the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft by Cincinnati.
Left tackle Matt Kalil is also on injured reserve after having hip surgery three weeks ago. He’s been replaced by T.J. Clemmings.
Free agent Jake Long was at Winter Park on Monday for a workout, Zimmer said. Long was the first overall pick in the 2008 draft by Miami, but he struggled with injuries the past two seasons with St. Louis and then Atlanta, which did not re-sign him.
Phil Loadholt was going to compete with Smith at right tackle, but he aborted his comeback attempt from a torn Achilles tendon just before training camp and decided to retire.
Mike Harris, who filled in for an injured Loadholt in 2014 and started at right guard in 2015, has been unable to play this year because of an unspecified medical condition. Zimmer said Monday that Harris likely won’t return this season.
“We’ve overcome a lot of hurdles and some adversity early in the year,” quarterback Sam Bradford said.
“I think everyone understands when somebody goes down it just means it’s an opportunity for the next guy to come in and step up and play well, unfortunately. We’ve had a lot of guys answer the call.”
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