Minnesota Vikings WR Sidney Rice has become a damn good player in recent years. With all the talk of Brett Favre (what’s new?) and what he’s up to (we don’t care), it seems that people have forgotten about Rice and his injured hip.
He first got it banged up in January’s NFC title game against the New Orleans Saints. And it didn’t seem like a big deal until he tried to have a go in June minicamps. He got shut down when he couldn’t cut or run like he was supposed to.
So how bad is it? He visited specialists this offseason and two of the three that he saw recommended getting surgery on the hip. They didn’t say he absolutely had to have it, but they did steer him in that direction. Just fyi, he didn’t get the surgery.
Now, he’s on PUP to start training camp.
“I’m going to be cautious, and it wasn’t a problem with Coach (Brad Childress),” Rice told SI’s Don Banks. “He recommended I start (camp) on the PUP list. It’s something that’s been bothering me and you want to be healthy for the season ahead and trying to win that trophy. So you want to be smart. Right now, it’s just day-by-day and we’re taking it slow. We don’t want to rush anything.”
Banks notes in his column that there is a contractual element to all this. Rice is in the final year of his rookie deal and would like to get a new contract. So, maybe he’s not completely banged up and maybe he’s just being uber careful so that he can get his dough.
We don’t blame him. And who wouldn’t want to sit out training camp if it is at all possible? It’s not like he’s going to lose his job; he’s their best receiver. And it’s not like their QB is setting a great example by being there and getting reps. Even if he was out there, he’d be working with backup QB’s.
But we do wonder about him not getting the surgery. Could that still be on the horizon if things don’t change?