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Vikings lose receiver Rice to hip surgery

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Brett Favre's job just got a whole lot tougher.

Favre and the Vikings will play at least the first half of the season without Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice, who had hip surgery this week.

Coach Brad Childress said Tuesday that Rice had the procedure Monday in Vail, Colo.

"I would think (it will take) probably at least eight weeks before we're talking about doing anything," Childress said.

The Vikings have very little depth at receiver. Former Florida star Percy Harvin has struggled with migraines during the preseason, and the team signed veteran Javon Walker, a former Seminole, to help.

COWHER ON BIG BEN: Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher says it was hard to get through to Ben Roethlisberger after the quarterback had so much success early in his career. He believes the sexual assault investigation that led to a six-game suspension for Roethlisberger was a "slap in the face" that has led to some much-needed maturity.

Cowher told the Associated Press how Roethlisberger used to respond to advice about his off-field behavior: "But we're winning games. We're winning championships. What do you mean? Isn't that what we're here to do?"

" 'Yeah, ' " Cowher said he told the quarterback, " 'but there's more to it than that.' … I really think he understands that now."

Cowher coached Roethlisberger during the quarterback's first three seasons. In Year 2 Roethlisberger became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

ODD PRACTICE PAIRING: The Cardinals, eager to avoid a quick trip home on a short week, are sticking around Nashville for a joint practice with the Titans, who beat Arizona 24-10 Monday night in a preseason game. Both teams rested Tuesday and will hit the field together today at the Titans' headquarters. Arizona plays Saturday at Chicago.

OCHOCINCO FINED: The league fined Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco $25,000 for posting to his Twitter page during a prohibited time in Friday's game against Philadelphia. The use of cell phones, computers and other electronic equipment by players and coaches is prohibited from 90 minutes before kickoff through the end of the game.

BRONCOS: Correll Buckhalter practiced for the first time since wrenching his back on the first day of training camp. All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady will practice today for the first time since blowing out his left knee in a pickup basketball game in the spring. … Veteran linebacker Akin Ayodele was released.

JETS: Nick Mangold's contract was finalized, making him the league's highest-paid center with a seven-year extension worth $55 million. Also, the team claimed wide receiver Brooks Foster off waivers from the Rams and signed free-agent safety Keith Fitzhugh.

RAMS: The NFL's finance committee unanimously recommended approval of Missouri billionaire Stan Kroenke's bid to take full control of the team. Owners will vote on the sale at a meeting today in Atlanta. … Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Sam Bradford, the top overall pick in this year's draft thrown into the starting quarterback role for now with A.J. Feeley injured, should play at least the first half and maybe more Thursday at New England.

REDSKINS: Donovan McNabb (sprained ankle) will miss Friday's game against the Jets. The veteran quarterback has been unable to practice since getting hurt Saturday against Baltimore.

SEAHAWKS: Left tackle Russell Okung (high right ankle sprain), the sixth overall draft pick in April, is out for the rest of the preseason and is likely to miss part of the regular season.

Vikings lose receiver Rice to hip surgery 08/24/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 11:14pm]
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