Sidney Rice: Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Won't Play Sunday Vs. Bears

Tanner ThomsSenior Analyst INovember 13, 2010

PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 25:  Sidney Rice #18 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the NFL game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 25, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Vikings 27-17. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Update: Sidney Rice will be inactive on Sunday vs. Chicago

It's been reported today that Sidney Rice wasn't activated, this making it official that he won't play on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Rice, who had a breakout season in 2009 with Brett Favre at the helm, recorded 83 catches for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns last year.

Sidney declined hip surgery this offseason, despite several doctors strongly recommending he undergo the procedure. As it turns out, this was a foolish decision on Rice's part.

Had he undergone the surgery in April, Rice would have been fully healthy when Week 1 rolled around against the New Orleans Saints.

With that said, the past cannot be changed, but it's a wonder as to how much better the Vikings would be if they had Favre's favorite target on the field.

Had Rice been playing on a weekly basis, Minnesota would've never made the acquisition to bring Randy Moss back to the team who drafted him in 1998.

Minnesota also would still have their third-round-pick in 2011.

Several weeks ago, many questioned whether or not Rice would even be able to make his return this season. The Vikings even considered placing him on injured reserve if he couldn't make progress in his rehabilitation.

As I mentioned earlier, Rice has been looking sharp as of late, which has led Brad Childress to inserting Rice into the starting lineup for the rest of the season.

Minnesota cannot afford to injure him further if he's not fully healthy.

Rice, who is in the final year of his contract from his rookie season, needs a solid showing in the final eight games in order to receive a big contract this offseason.

Although he's likely to get a decent salary even if he doesn't perform well, the better he does on Sundays, the more cash he's likely to earn.

The Vikings will do everything they can to retain Sidney, but there will be numerous teams that will be willing to offer more than what Minnesota can dish out.

His 6'4" frame will intrigue a lot of teams when free agency begins. However, if Rice is smart, he will stick with the team that has made him what he is today.

Minnesota's offense is often an unstoppable force when he's in the lineup, so it's an absolute must that the Vikings pay him whatever he desires.

Although Percy Harvin is a great receiver, he cannot be the main target for whoever is starting at quarterback next season.

The Vikings' offense hasn't been nearly as explosive as it was last year since Rice has been on the sidelines.

Game by game, Sidney's reps will increase as he gets acquainted with real-game action. It's been speculated that he could see anywhere between 15-20 plays when he makes his debut.

The main purpose for Rice to get back onto the field is to see how well he can run, shift directions and get fully involved with the offense.

Sidney obviously knows the playbook and system, but he could struggle in knowing his exact routes, seeings as he hasn't played in nearly 10 months.

If you own Rice on your fantasy roster, I wouldn't advise starting him anytime soon. There's a good chance he will get a few catches, but the likelihood of him having a huge impact are incredibly slim.

I can speak for all Minnesota Vikings fans when I say that when Sidney Rice coming back will be a huge moment, and a potential turn around for a season that has been seriously disappointing.

Although he won't be on the field against the Bears, Rice will likely be starting next week against the Green Bay Packers.

Rice will allow Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, and Visanthe Shiancoe to get many open opportunities down the field.

For this week, look for Percy Harvin to have as big of a game, if not bigger, against a mediocre Chicago Bears defense.

Minnesota travels to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears at noon this Sunday.