Well, the news keeps getting better for the Minnesota Vikings. Though initial reports suggested that receiver Sidney Rice would miss eight weeks after undergoing better-never-than-late surgery to address a nagging hip problem, coach Brad Childress said Tuesday that it probably will be at least eight weeks before Rice is even cleared to practice, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500espn.com.
And it gets worse (or better, if you’re a Packers fans). Childress hasn’t ruled out placing Rice on injured reserve, which means he wouldn’t play at all during the 2010 season.
Chilly also threw an icicle at Rice, suggesting that the problem potentially flared up at a mandatory minicamp in June “because of inactivity.”
Childress sidestepped suggesting that the delayed surgery relates to Rice’s contract, which pays him only $550,000 in 2010.
The head coach also said that rookie Joe Webb, a college quarterback drafted to be a receiver then moved back to quarterback, won’t be moved to receiver. Childress said the team discussed it but decided against it. “We’d have been working with a rough piece of clay there,” Childress
said. “Obviously, he’s a superb athlete, but he needs work in what he’s
doing right now.”
So that leaves the Vikings with few options to replace Rice. The depth chart currently shows Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin as the starters, with Greg Lewis and Taye Biddle as third and fourth on the depth chart. It’s also possible that Darius Reynaud could be moved from running back back to receiver.
All that said, it could be that Rice performed so well last year because Brett Favre was his quarterback. In two prior NFL seasons, Rice’s abilities were closer to Condoleezza than to Jerry. So maybe the Vikings will count on Favre making the next man up into a great receiver by feeding the guy like a turkey in the second week of November.