Sidney Rice practiced for the first time Wednesday after having hip surgery during the preseason. The Pro Bowl wide receiver was able to run full speed and make cuts, but he said it's unlikely that he will play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

But he is happy to be back on the field.

"It felt great," Rice said Thursday before practice. "It was awesome to be out there running around. It felt great when I was running. A little sore today, a lot of tightness in there. Will continue to do what our trainers stuff have their protocol, so keep following that for now.”

Rice said his right hip was understandably sore after going through his first practice.

“It’s the most I’ve done in a while," he said. "I’m real, real sore and real tight in the area. A lot of stiffness. But I’ve been stretching all morning. I’ll go out there today and see what I can do.”
 
The Vikings removed Rice from the physically unable to perform list and the team now has three weeks to evaluate him and decide whether to activate him to the 53-man roster. That doesn't look like it will happen this week but his return brought some optimism to the team and offense in particular.

"It brightened my day just to see him out there," running back Adrian Peterson said. "He’s a friend first. One of my good friends. So just to see him back out moving around and having it in my mind that hey, it’s getting closer. For him to be out here and be a part of this team and help us finish going after this goal, I’m excited for him."