Sidney Rice is expected to be ready for the Seattle Seahawks' regular-season opener, head coach Pete Carroll announced Wednesday. Rice has been battling knee problems for some time now, and he has even gone to Switzerland to receive non-surgical treatment.
Carroll added a caveat to his announcement, saying Rice will play against the Carolina Panthers "unless there's setback next week in practice again." The statement was somewhat confusing to Seahawks beat writers. Rice has not suffered a known setback in practice this offseason, though the coaching staff has been cautious with the wideout, according to Liz Matthews at 710 ESPN Seattle
Rice appeared in every game the Seahawks played last season, catching a total 55 passes for 835 yards and seven touchdowns in 18 games. He has struggled with injuries in the past, however, missing 17 combined regular season games in 2010 and 2011.
If Rice is healthy, he has a chance to play a major role in the Seahawks' passing offense. The team traded for Percy Harvin in the offseason, but the uber-shifty wide receiver is expected to sit nearly the entire season after undergoing hip surgery.