After seven weeks of being on crutches, Sidney Rice is finally able to walk into the Vikings' locker room at Winter Park with no assistance.
The wide receiver ditched his crutches on Tuesday after receiving the go-ahead a day earlier from his doctor in Vail, Colo. That is where Rice had surgery on his hip in August.
"He said everything looked good," Rice said today. "I was supposed to be done with [the crutches] Friday but I'm done with them now. .. Everything has been feeling good. It hasn't been giving me any problems. I've been walking around and walking on the treadmill, things like that with [my full] body weight."
As for when he will be able to begin football activities, that still hasn't been determined. Rice said the Vikings athletic training staff will consult with the doctors and that a date for him to do some football-related work might be picked this week.
Rice is on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he has to sit out the first six weeks of the season. That would leave him eligible to return for the Vikings game on Oct. 24 at Green Bay. However, considering he just got off crutches and is playing Wii video games at this point it seems unlikely Rice will be ready to go that soon.
"[I'm] not sure," what's realistic, Rice said. "I've got to see how it's feeling these next couple of weeks. I know I can't play until after the sixth week. I'm sure it's going to take a little more time. I haven't done anything on it in seven weeks. Not even put [my leg] on the ground. I followed my rules, stayed off of it, kept the pressure and the weight off of it. I'm just going to continue to do what they tell me to do, and I'm going to be pushing as much as I can."
Rice had an interesting answer when asked if the Vikings trade for wide receiver Randy Moss meant he didn't have to push as hard to get back.
"No, that means when I do get back some teams are going to have some trouble," he said. "I'm not going to put everything on his shoulders. They brought him in for a reason and that's to help the team, whether I'm out there playing or not. I think he's going to do a good job filling in. He did his job Monday night and when everybody gets on the same page it's going to be interesting to see how things will go then."
Roster moves: The Vikings officially announced the signing of cornerback Frank Walker and the move of cornerback Cedric Griffin (knee) to injured reserve. The team also re-signed cornerback Marcus Sherels to the practice squad and released tight end John Nalbone from the practice squad.