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Rice's season ends early
What has been a season of pain for Sidney Rice is over.
The wide receiver the Seahawks signed in free agency in July was placed on injured reserve Wednesday after getting a second concussion in three weeks during the Seahawks’ loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
Rice also has had shoulder, foot and knee injuries this season, but coach Pete Carroll said it was Rice’s latest concussion that prompted the decision to end his season.
“We’re going to sit him down, to make sure we take great care of him,” Carroll said after the team’s light workout in preparation for Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles at CenturyLink Field.
“We have to give him time. He was going to have to sit for a number of weeks before he’d be able to play anyway, so we just want to make sure we take care of him and don’t bring him back too soon and get him right.”
Rice, who has yet to be cleared by the team’s medical staff, was not available for comment. But Carroll said the situation was difficult for Rice.
“It was a tough decision for him to have to take because he’s such a competitor,” Carroll said. “But he took it in stride, because he knows we’re doing the best thing for him.
“He just doesn’t want to hear. I told him yesterday, ‘Sometimes somebody has to step in and tell you what you would never decide.’ We had to do that for him. As a competitor, there’s no way he would step out right now. We love that about him.”
Rookie linebacker Mike Morgan was signed off the practice squad to fill Rice’s spot on the 53-man roster.
Rice caught 32 passes for 484 yards, totals that rank second on the team to rookie free agent Doug Baldwin (37 for 604). Rice did not catch a pass in Sunday’s game before leaving with the concussion. He also missed the first two games this season because of his shoulder injury.
“He’s been banged up all year, in and out, so hopefully we’ll get him as strong and fit as he’s ever been,” Carroll said of Rice being able to start his offseason conditioning earlier now that he’s on IR.
Asked to assess Rice’s contributions in his first season with the Seahawks, Carroll offered, “Here’s what we know: He’s a great player. We see the stuff he can do and the impact he can have.”
That was apparent during Rice’s eight-catch, 109-yard effort in the Week 3 win over the Arizona Cardinals and his seven-catch, 102-yard outing in the Week 8 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Unfortunately, we just never got the continuity of getting all of the benefits of his play,” Carroll said. “It will happen. We can see his dynamics and his catching ability and his ability to make special plays. We’ll get him right and get him fit.”
Carroll said that Rice’s concussion situation is not career-threatening, adding that the team was being overly cautious with a player who figures so predominantly in its future.
“With all the upscale awareness about head injuries, we’re following along,” Carroll said. “We’re going to do the right thing here. As we continue to grow and learn about the ramifications and the impact of these injuries, we’re just trying to do the right thing with this and protect our guy, is really what it comes down to.
“We love him and he’s a great kid in the program. We just want to hope we make the right decision with this thing. We know he won’t get hurt again (this season). We’ll get him strong and ready for next year.”
With Rice out, Ben Obomanu will step into the starting lineup and Deon Butler will be active against the Eagles for the first time since being activated off the physically unable to perform list on Nov. 8.
“That’s a bonus that we have Deon available to us,” Carroll said.