Posted by Andy Benoit
Vikings head coach Brad Childress gave wide receiver Sidney Rice an ultimatum: either play this week or be shut down for the remainder of the season. The fourth-year wideout has decided to play.
Just prior to the season, Rice presumably irked the Vikings by undergoing hip surgery after deciding that he could not fight through the nagging injury. He was placed on PUP and has not been of service to the team all season.
Some have speculated that Rice’s surgery was a negotiating ploy (he’s looking for a new contract). That is illogical, though, as teams generally aren’t encouraged to pay big money to players who prove they can’t consistently take the field. Where the contract situation may have come into play was in Rice’s decision to suit up in 2010 (again, it’s hard to ask for a new contract when you’re not playing). If anything, Rice needs to play in order to shed his reputation for being lazy and content. (This isn't to say he IS lazy and content -- more than a few critics, including Cris Carter, have suggested this, though.)
Rice’s absence doomed the Viking offense from Day One (though a shoddy front line maybe would have ultimately doomed it anyway). The trade for Greg Camarillo has not filled the void at receiver. And, you may have heard, the trade for Randy Moss was not very successful.
So now Brett Favre has his favorite downfield target back. But after being on the shelf for some three months, will that downfield target be viable? And, with the Vikings now 3-6, does it even matter?
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