By John Boyle
An already struggling Seahawks offense was dealt another blow Monday night.
The team announced Tuesday that receiver Sidney Rice suffered a torn ACL in Monday’s win in St. Louis, an injury that will end his season. The news was first reported by ProFootballTalk.com.
Rice was not having his most productive season, catching just 15 passes for 231 yards, though his three touchdown receptions are tied for a team high. He missed part of training camp to travel to Switzerland for treatment on his knee, and at times has been limited in practice, but he had played in all eight of Seattle’s games.
Rice, Seattle’s biggest free agent addition in 2011, saw his first season in Seattle end on injured reserve after nine games having suffered two concussions in the span of three weeks. He had surgery on both shoulders that offseason, then played in all 16 games last year, catching 50 passes for 748 yards and seven touchdowns.
While his production was limited so far this year, Rice’s injury is still a blow to Seattle, because at 6-foot-4, he still provides a big target with a huge catching radius that Seattle doesn’t otherwise have. Rice’s absence will be mitigated somewhat by the return of Percy Harvin, who is coming back from hip surgery, though those two are very different players. If Harvin isn’t ready to play this week or take on a big role, expect Jermaine Kearse to take over many of Rice’s snaps in the short-term.
This injury could mean Rice has played his last game as a Seahawk. Even before this news, many have speculated that Rice will be released after this season, especially considering how much Harvin is set to make with big extension he signed after being traded to Seattle. Rice is scheduled to make $8.5 million in base salary in 2014 and $9 million in 2015.