The Miami Dolphins used their first-overall draft choice in 2008 on Michigan left tackle Jake Long, installing him as the cornerstone of an offensive line that should have dominated for a decade. Five years later, Long’s body seemed to be breaking down on him and, with the Dolphins skeptical of paying him the market value for a franchise left tackle because of those injuries, Long and his four Pro-Bowl, one All-Team All-Pro selection signed with the St. Louis Rams.
Two years after playing in just 22 of 32 possible games, Long was released and signed with the Atlanta Falcons, where he played in four games in 2015. This year, Long spent the offseason and preseason working his way back into football shape before signing with the Minnesota Vikings during their bye week, reuniting him with former Dolphins head coach and current Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano.
He played in four games this season, starting three times, but Sunday saw that come to an end. According to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, Long tore his Achilles tendon during their game against the Washington Redskins, ending his season.
And, sadly, that may be the end of Long’s career.
According to the Daily Norseman, SB Nation’s Vikings blog, “After a rough start, Long was really starting to round into form over the past week or so.”
Long was an incredible talent who, if his body had cooperated, could have been a Hall of Fame offensive linemen. Unfortunately, his career story will be more about what could have been and cart rides off of the field. Hopefully Long is able to fully recover from his latest injury, but it does seem like his career is most likely over.