The Minnesota Vikings were distraught to learn today that their top receiver, All-Pro wideout Sidney Rice, had hip surgery that will keep him out for as many as eight weeks.
After several months—maybe as many as eight months—of ineffective rehabilitation, Rice had the surgery, essentially cutting his 2010 season in half.
I can understand the desire to rehab an injury over a surgical procedure to repair any physical problem. But in Rice's case, it's very frustrating because this is something he could've taken care of a long time ago, as the injury apparently occurred back in January.
Instead, it seems he hoped for the best and optimistically tried to get himself up-to-speed while on the PUP list during training camp.
It didn't work.
But let's take the high road here. The good news is that the Vikings will get a hopefully a 100 percent Rice back for the second half of the season. And a best case scenario would see him in the lineup against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 24, a nationally televised Sunday night contest.
The Vikings have an early bye in Week Four, so it's possible Rice will only miss five games.
Still, those are five very important games and the loss of quarterback Brett Favre's favorite target is undoubtedly going to be a painful experience. How the rest of the receivers pick up the slack during that time and how they can temporarily fill-in for Rice is yet to be seen.
But it won't be an easy task to replace 16 yards-per-catch, Rice's average every time he touched the football last season.