All signs are pointing to Sidney Rice returning to the Minnesota Vikings this weekend.
He’ll probably have to, if he wants to play at all this season.
The running mystery about Rice’s status is down to the final days, three months after he had hip surgery. Vikings coach Brad Childress said Friday if the wide receiver is not activated from the physically unable to perform list for Sunday’s game against Green Bay, Rice will likely be placed on injured reserve and done for 2010.
Rice declined several requests for comment in the locker room after practice, but he told an ESPN reporter that he plans to play against the Packers.
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Rice has been practicing with the team for the last two weeks and must be moved to the active roster by next Wednesday for him to be eligible this season.
“I am pushing to be out there,” he said this week.
Childress said that Rice’s soreness is “not as bad as last week” and that the determination on his status will be made after today’s practice. The Vikings have held a spot open on their active 53-man roster since dumping wide receiver Randy Moss, and since fully clearing Rice for action they’ve left the final decision up to him.
Rice, in the last season of a four-year contract, balked at a recent suggestion that he’s taking his time with his recovery to avoid getting hurt during a contract year.
A marketing agent with ties to the New Orleans Saints has been sentenced to eight months in prison for conspiring to scalp Super Bowl tickets and hawking fake “game-worn” jerseys.
Mike Ornstein, former marketing agent for Reggie Bush and a frequent presence at Saints practices and games, pleaded guilty in June to scalping conspiracy and selling jerseys with the false claim that NFL players had worn them in games.
He’ll also repay $350,000 made in the ventures.
Tampa Bay rookie Mike Williams did not practice after his arrest on a DUI charge early Friday, but coach Raheem Morris said the team-leading receiver will travel to San Francisco and play Sunday against the 49ers. ... Running back Clinton Portis is set to return for the Redskins after missing five games with a torn left groin. … Tennessee offensive tackle David Stewart was fined $20,000 for unnecessary roughness; Pittsburgh linebacker LaMarr Woodley was docked $12,500 for roughing New England quarterback Tom Brady; and Tampa Bay safety Cody Grimm was fined $7,500 for unnecessary roughness. … The Jaguars likely will be without receiver Mike Sims-Walker against Cleveland on Sunday because of a sprained right ankle. … Ravens offensive guard Chris Chester has been hospitalized with a skin infection and won’t play Sunday against Carolina. … Oakland was the final team to vote to give the NFL Players Association the option of decertifying if there is a lockout next year. … Wideout Jerricho Cotchery has been ruled out for the New York Jets’ game against Houston with a groin injury.