The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently has reported that receiver Sidney Rice may not play on Sunday against the Packers, and that if he doesn’t play and the Vikings lose, he may not play at all this year.
Earlier today, Vikings coach Brad Childress said that Rice will make the call as to when he’s ready to play.
“Guys have got to be able to function and function well at a high level,” Childress said, via NFL.com. “That’s for him to discern how much pain is pounding from practice and can he get by with the pain.”
Childress also dismissed the possibility that Rice is taking his good old time due to his contractual status. “It’s real easy for guys to malinger and hang around the training room,” Childress said. “I don’t see that from Sidney.”
Rice has provided a more direct response regarding the possibility that he’s not doing all he can to come back.
“That’s a bunch of bull,” Rice writes on his official website. “I wouldn’t dare do the fans or my teammates like that.”
Rice said that a decision regarding whether he’ll play on Sunday will be made on Saturday.
“I just want you fans to know that the surgery I had was very serious,” Rice said. “It’s not like I’m coming back from a pulled hamstring and can run back out there. There’s way more to it than that. Believe me when I tell you I’m pushing to get back on the field.
“I’m anxious to get out there today and I look forward to Saturday to see how I feel after a hard week of practice. When I wake up hopefully everything will be alright and I’ll be ready to go on Sunday.”
If he’s not, plenty of people will wonder whether Rice really is committed to playing again this year, regardless of what the truth may be.