Reports out of Minneapolis on Tuesday are that the Vikings could be without their best receiver for a while.
The Star Tribune is reporting that Sidney Rice, who broke out last year as Brett Favre's favorite weapon, had on a hip injury suffered in the NFC Championship Game in New Orleans on Monday. Rice caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns last year. He has not participated in any of the Vikings preseason practices because of the hip injury, however.
According to the Star Tribune, Rice could miss as much as half of the 2010 season. This reality, coupled with Percy Harvin's continued health concerns, led the Vikings to sign Javon Walker on Monday. Walker played with Favre in Green Bay, but has been out of football for a while and wasn't very good in his final few seasons in the league.
Fantasy owners should be very careful when considering Vikings offensive players this year. If Rice misses significant time, and Harvin misses time because of migraines, Favre could start the season with Walker and Bernard Berrian as his two outside options. Losing his two best playmakers will hurt Favre's numbers without question.
The only player that could benefit would be Visanthe Shiancoe, who was a top target for Favre last year and could be needed even more, especially if Harvin is missing from the slot.
The trickle down impact is on Adrian Peterson. If the Vikings' receivers are struggling to get it done (and defenses show Walker and Berrian little/no respect), there will be one or two safeties in the box playing the run. Peterson could see more eight-man fronts this year than he has since 2008, before Favre arrived. Without Chester Taylor to help shoulder the load, it could be a rough season for Peterson.
The recommendation across the board in Minnesota now is to draft with caution. This is not good news for fantasy owners or Vikings fans.