Sidney Rice expected to play Sunday for Seattle

Sidney Rice is finally going to see the field for the Seattle

Seahawks.

After missing the first two games with a shoulder injury,

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday that barring any last

second setbacks Rice will make his Seattle debut on Sunday against

the Arizona Cardinals.

It’s a welcome return for an offense that’s floundered through

the first two weeks of the season and could use Rice’s downfield

ability to open up both the passing game and take pressure off what

has thus far been an ineffective run game.

”He’s a big factor. This was a big move that we made to go get

Sidney and we had in mind that he would be a huge factor for us and

get other guys open and help the running game and all of that. You

have to pay attention to him because he’s that good of a player,”

Carroll said.

Rice has labrum damage in his shoulder and missed the final

preseason game against Oakland then sat out the opener against San

Francisco and last week against Pittsburgh.

But the injury is one the Seahawks feel Rice can play through

after going through extensive therapy the last few weeks while

being sidelined. Rice isn’t worried about any additional damage or

what that first hit might feel like.

”Whatever happens, happens. I should be able to tolerate

whatever it is and have no problem out there,” Rice said.

Just two seasons ago, Rice was a Pro Bowl selection after

catching 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns with

Minnesota. He missed most of last season after undergoing offseason

hip surgery and played in just six games his final season with the

Vikings.

In Seattle he’s been reunited with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson

and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Both raved this week

about what Rice could bring to the Seahawks’ struggling

offense.

”He can make plays. I’ve seen him. You just put the ball in his

area. He has great ball skills. He can go get the ball wherever you

throw it,” Jackson said. ”He’s able to get down field, he’s got

good hands to catch the underneath routes, so he creates

opportunities for other guys. If you play him one on one the

chances are you’re going to get beat. That’s the thing that we’re

looking for.”

Rice said he felt he could have played against the Steelers.

He’s anxious to show off for the home fans after signing a

five-year deal with Seattle during free agency.

”It’s always hard sitting on the sideline not being able to

contribute to your teams, especially when so many people have high

expectations for you coming into a season like this and your team

is struggling,” Rice said. ”I’m ready, anxious to get out

there.”

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