News that Sidney Rice had undergone surgery on his injured hip and would miss the first half of the season was met in a variety of ways by Viking fans.
Many felt anxiety at the team’s prospects for winning a Super Bowl, now that their #1 receiver was on the shelf. Some expressed concern at what the loss of Rice would mean to the mental well-being of Brett Favre, who returned to the team assuming he would have his favorite weapon from last year.
More than a few just plain got angry at Sidney, questioning his decision to not have the surgery earlier in the year when he could still have gotten back in time for the season.
Rice, clearly aware of all the questions being fired his way by irate fans, has taken to his website sidneyrice18.com to hopefully clear the air on the issue. In his blog post, the receiver goes into some detail about his thought process, and reveals why he finally decided to have the procedure even though he knew it would erase half his 2010 season.
Rice explains that, initially, doctors told him the hip, which he injured in the NFC Championship game, would heal through rehab, hence his decision to forgo surgery. Rice seemed to be progressing well, but then tweaked the injury during minicamp. At this point, he was again faced with the options of surgery or more rehab – and chose more rehab.
Fast-forward to training camp. Rice says he felt less than 100% after reporting, but thought he was getting better. Unfortunately, after having another MRI, he learned that the injury was worse than previously thought. The doctor informed him that his career could be shortened if he didn’t have surgery. After consultation with the Vikings, Rice decided the best move was to have the surgery done.
The point Rice makes repeatedly throughout the blog is that he knew surgery was an option, but as long as rehabbing was also an option, it was a natural decision for him to avoid the surgery. “No one wants to have surgery,” Rice says.
The angry fans I mentioned before are still going to wonder why Rice didn’t suck it up and have the surgery early on, knowing his recovery time would be about 10-12 weeks. “Why take the chance?” these irritated fans are asking. “Why not just have it over with and get back in time for the start of the season?”
Rice makes it clear that he was led to believe rehab would be enough – until everything changed and it wasn’t enough. That being the case, it’s hard to bash the guy for choosing the approach he took. He trusted his doctors, and they turned out to be wrong.
It’s all water under the bridge now anyway. The only thing that matters is the future. And the future is, for awhile anyway, going to be a tad grimmer than we anticipated from an offensive firepower standpoint.
Hopefully, Sidney’s rehab will go well and he will be back to his old self in time for the playoff push. In the meantime, we’re going to need big-time production from Bernard Berrian, who should become the main deep threat. And we’ll have to hope Percy Harvin doesn’t suffer any severe migraine attacks.
If Berrian and Harvin can fill their roles, and newly-acquired Greg Camarillo can give us production out of the slot, the offense should be fine. We still have a top 5 running back in Adrian Peterson and an above-average tight end in Visanthe Shiancoe.
I’d feel a lot better if we still had Chester Taylor…but you can’t have everything, can you?