In last week's NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings spent two picks on offensive tackles, selecting T.J. Clemmings out of Pitt in the fourth round and Tyrus Thompson of Oklahoma in the sixth. Part of that has to do with the struggles of left tackle Matt Kalil, who has regressed mightily after a very good rookie season. And, according to a report yesterday, Kalil may have more health issues than we were previously aware of.
The 25-year-old had both his knees scoped in January by renowned orthopedist James Andrews, according to the report. In March, he underwent a procedure called Regenexx in which blood is removed, processed and re-injected into his knee. He also underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy.
It was the second straight offseason during which Kalil has undergone arthroscopic surgery.
The Vikings picked up the fifth-year option on Kalil's contract, one that is worth a shade over $11 million but is only guaranteed in case of injury. That means that if Kalil continues to struggle, whether the reasons are injury-related or otherwise, the team can cut him without suffering any dead money hits against their salary cap.
Kalil's struggles after his surgery last offseason were well-documented. I don't know if we can call Kalil's knee issues "chronic" at this point, but it certainly isn't a positive that he's needed to have some sort of maintenance done on them two years in a row.
Matt Kalil is facing the biggest season of his football career in 2015, a season where he can either establish himself as a quality left tackle at the NFL level, or find himself out of a job in Minnesota and potentially labeled a bust. This puts him behind the eight ball, and we'll have to see if his recovery goes significantly better this year than it did last year.