Posted by Josh Katzowitz
Vikings WR Sidney Rice is off crutches, and though he’s not sure when he can return to practice – and ultimately, to actual game play – the fact he doesn’t need assistance to get around is a positive sign.
"(The doctor who performed his hip surgery) said everything looked good," Rice told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I was supposed to be done with [the crutches] Friday but I'm done with them now. .. Everything has been feeling good. It hasn't been giving me any problems. I've been walking around and walking on the treadmill, things like that with [my full] body weight."
Since Rice is on the Physically Unable to Perform list, the earliest he could return to the field is Oct. 24. That’s probably not going to happen.
“I'm sure it's going to take a little more time,” Rice said. “I haven't done anything on it in seven weeks. Not even put [my leg] on the ground. I followed my rules, stayed off of it, kept the pressure and the weight off of it. I'm just going to continue to do what they tell me to do, and I'm going to be pushing as much as I can."
It’ll be interesting to see the role Rice plays when he returns. With the acquisition of deep threat Randy Moss, who likely won’t give up his starting spot, and with Percy Harvin better at short to intermediate routes also likely to be starting, it’s not out of the question that Rice could face reduced playing time. Especially if the coaching staff wants to introduce him back to the game slowly after his hip surgery.
Which, now that the Vikings have Moss, they probably can afford to do.
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