MRI shows no sprained ankle for Loadholt

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings can breathe a little easier about the health of one of their key offensive linemen on Sunday.

A MRI on Phil Loadholt's ankle showed the right tackle suffered only a contusion, not a sprain, according to a league source. Loadholt briefly returned to the game after initially sustaining the injury in the first quarter of the Vikings' game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night, and coach Mike Zimmer said after the game that team doctors didn't "believe it's anything real serious" after doing X-rays during the game.

It seems unlikely the Vikings will play Loadholt in their final preseason game on Thursday night against Tennessee, but the Vikings' starters weren't likely to see much playing time anyway. At this point, it seems the Vikings will have Loadholt -- one of the league's highest-paid right tackles and a major force in the Vikings' running game -- healthy and ready to go in the regular season opener on Sept. 7 in St. Louis.