The Sidney Rice news doesn't come as a complete shock. This hip injury didn't feel right a month ago and at this point it was either a passive contract hold out or far more serious. Unfortunately, surgery is needed. I wish Rice the best with the recovery and rehab.
This brings me to the Minnesota Vikings current best wide receiver and that is Bernard Berrian. This guy has been thrown under the bus or just completely ignored all season. Last year, I felt like he was going to have a huge season but he wasn't truly healthy until late in the season. The New Orleans game he showed flashes of great play that I expected earlier in the year. The Rice injury serves as a chance for Berrian to prove his talents. He's one of the elite deep threats in the game and he's also a fairly solid route runner. His quick burst should prove to be damn near unstoppable on the slant route, which happens to be Brett Favre's favorite throw.
I don't think the Vikings should panic with the loss of Sidney Rice. As others have written and I agree, Rice became a star because Favre made him one. See guys like Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Robert Brooks and Antonio Freeman. None of these guys were expected to be stud wide receivers. Rice's progression coincided with Favre's talent to create a 6'3 monster. My point here is that Favre has invented and reinvented receivers before Rice and will do it after Rice. Remember, last year Rice was a nice red zone target and that's it. He's coming out party was the one Vikings game I've ever attended, Baltimore in week five.
My point is at this time last year no one was counting on Rice, Harvin's WR ability was still unknown and Berrian was the unhealthy one. Now things have changed. Berrian looks spry and Harvin will contribute when possible. Down on the roster a fellow named Marko Mitchell lurks. I have no idea if he makes the team, but I have a feeling he could be a deep deep sleeper given his size and speed. His hands won't match Rice's, but it might be worth a look.
I know this news is unsettling and the media types will play it up as a huge loss and it is certainly an important one, but remember Rice returns in November, playoff games are played in January and that's when we need this team at full strength.
Thanks for letting me waste some of your time today.