Notebook: Rice loses crutches, talks return

Sidney Rice is off crutches, walking fine and anxious to return to action. When that happens, it could be a dynamic Vikings receiving corps once again. Plus, get injury and signing updates.

Sidney Rice couldn't stand it any longer. Immediately after visiting the Steadman Clinic in Colorado on Monday, he was ready to lose the crutches and start putting weight on his surgically repaired hip.

On Wednesday, a day after leaving the crutches, he seemed to be walking without obvious limitations. He was supposed to wean off the crutches by the end of the week, but he made the move to ditch them Tuesday.

Rice said he has been walking on a treadmill as well and was hoping to find out about the upcoming steps in his rehabilitation by the end of the week.

"The trainers still got to talk to those guys," he said, referring to the medical personnel that performed the surgery. "I was supposed to be off of crutches this Friday, wean off of them for the rest of the week, but I've been feeling pretty good."

Rice said there was never any talk of him being placed on season-ending injured reserve after he had surgery on Aug. 23, and the Vikings chose the more optimistic route of placing him on the physically unable to perform list to start the season, meaning he wouldn't be eligible to start practicing until six weeks into the season.

"I'm going to start jogging pretty soon if everything continues to feel OK. Right now it's feeling pretty good and so I put the crutches down for good," Rice said. "I'll continue to take it slow and make sure everything is fine."

"… Everything has been feeling good. It hasn't been giving me any problems. I've been walking around, walking on the treadmill and things like that. Full body weight."

Rice is eligible to play in the Oct. 24 game against the Green Bay Packers, but considering that is only 11 days away that seems optimistic at best.

"I've got to see how it's feeling in the next couple weeks," Rice said. "I know I can't play until after the six weeks and I'm sure it's going to take a little more time. I haven't done anything on it in seven weeks, not even putting it on the ground. I followed my rules and stayed off of it, kept the pressure and weight off of it. I'm going to continue to do what they tell me to do and I'm going to be pushing it as much as I can."

The Vikings' trade for Randy Moss may be even more motivation for Rice to get back on the field and see what a receiving corps featuring the two of them, along with Percy Harvin, can produce.

"That means when I do get back, then teams are going to have some trouble," Rice said. "I'm not going to put everything on Randy's shoulders. They brought him in for a reason and that's to help this time whether I'm out there playing or not. I think he's going to a good job. The receiver play has picked up. He did his job Monday night. When everybody gets on the same page, it's going to be interesting to see how things will go there."


Vikings quarterback Brett Favre didn't participate in Wednesday's practice, according to the injury report. Favre has been dealing with tendinitis in his throwing elbow and was wearing a brace out on the practice field and has been receiving treatment.

Favre was one of four players listed as not participating, joining Jamarca Sanford (back), John Sullivan (calf) and Chris DeGeare (ankle). Sanford was jogging behind one of the practice fields during practice and DeGeare was wearing a walking boot at the end of the morning walkthrough.

CB Chris Cook (knee), DE Brian Robison (ankle), TE Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) and S Madieu Williams (shoulder) were limited.

For the Cowboys, S Alan Ball, WR Dez Bryant (ribs/ankle), LB Bradie James (knee), DE Igor Olshansky (knee) didn't participate. TE Martellus Bennett (ankle) was limited for Dallas and FB Chris Gronkowski (groin) was a full participant.

  • The Vikings signed CB Frank Walker on Wednesday and placed Cedric Griffin on injured reserve. Griffin tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the fourth quarter of Monday night's game. Walker is wearing number 41.

  • The Vikings also made a move on their practice squad, re-signing Marcus Sherels to the practice squad and waiving tight end John Nalbone. Sherels spent the offseason and training camp with the team but was released Sept. 4 on the final roster cutdown.

  • Favre talking about the aggressively blitzing New York Jets team he faced on Monday: "I think (coach) Rex Ryan blitzed a couple of times."

  • Randy Moss said the main reason he was upset he wasn't drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1998 was because his mother's face was filled with disappoint when they passed on him and chose Greg Ellis instead. Moss got the feeling when he visited the Cowboys that they were going to draft him, leading to his mom's expectations. And now? "I always carry a certain chip on my shoulder for the Cowboys. Not as much but I'm still ready to play some football," Moss told Dallas reporters.

    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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