The Seattle Seahawks have confirmed that wide receiver Sidney Rice will out be for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. As much as the Seahawks would like to have Rice available to make plays for them, the overall impact of the loss is somewhat minimal, not only because Rice had not been as impactful as some expect but also because Percy Harvin is coming back. There was some speculation that the Seahawks made an 11th hour push to get a wide receiver and maybe they did, but it seems unlikely that Rice’s injury was the reason for the move.
In 8 games this season, Rice had just 15 catches on 35 targets for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns. That is not exactly championship stuff. It is possible he could have come out and been better in the second half of the year and made a bigger impact. Considering that with that much production out of Rice, the Seahawks were able to go 7-1, they look like they will be just fine. Rice was a nice option as a vertical threat but that is all he basically provided.
The bigger issue that could minimize the loss here is that Harvin is close to returning. The Seahawks are being conservative with his rehab and they should be as they do not need him for the time being. The Seahawks play the winless Buccaneers this week followed by the 2-5 Falcons and the 1-6 Vikings before heading into their bye. Should they choose, they could keep Harvin out for another month and get him fully prepared for the last stretch of the season and the playoffs, which is why he was acquired in the first place.
It would be stunning if Harvin is not one of the most heavily featured weapons on the Seahawks offense when he comes back and is 100% healthy. It is incredibly unlikely that he would have the same type of ineffective stretch that Rice has had this season. Losing Rice is unfortunate, but they seem to be insulated from it with Harvin preparing to come back and their overall success has been with limited contributions from Rice in the first place.