Sidney Rice quickly bouncing back from shoulder surgeries
Others in Seahawks receiving corps hurting
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — Sidney Rice's offseason sounds more like an anatomy lesson.
Start with the right shoulder, where he had 11 anchors surgically installed to stabilize the joint. A month and a half later, he underwent a similar procedure on his left shoulder, another 11 anchors installed. Now, after an offseason of rehabilitation, the player signed to be Seattle's top receiving threat is ready to start reaching for those heights once again.
"They're supposed to be brand-new shoulders," Rice said.
That's good, because the Seahawks are hoping those shoulders can carry a heck of a load in his second season with the team. Actually, they're counting on it.
Seattle made a number of improvements to its roster in the offseason. It added to its pass rush by drafting defensive end Bruce Irvin and added horsepower to the running game by re-signing Marshawn Lynch and drafting Robert Turbin. The Seahawks deepened their offensive line and traded for Kellen Winslow Jr. to serve as the second tight end.
But the Seahawks didn't add any front-line receivers. Oh, they'll give Antonio Bryant a kick of the tires and test-drive a few undrafted rookies, but a year after signing Rice to headline their wide-receiving corps, this offseason amounted to a vote of confidence that the Seahawks believe they have the ingredients for an effective passing attack with Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Mike Williams.
Right now, that's a matter of faith, though. While Rice is running routes again, he's still limited and hasn't been cleared for contact. Williams is getting close to returning, too, but at minicamp this week he's still watching practices as he recovers from offseason surgery while Tate currently isn't catching passes after suffering a small fracture in his right hand.
Those absences certainly haven't helped Seattle this offseason.
"It would help us more to have Golden out there and Mike out there working and doing their stuff," coach Pete Carroll said. "They can't progress when they're not practicing. With the availability of Sidney now, he'll be OK because he'll get a lot of throwing and catching.
"But Golden had had really good work and was in great shape and all that, it's just unfortunate that he had this little setback. But I think he'll catch up fine."
Seattle is counting on Rice's comeback. He went on injured reserve last December after suffering his second concussion in the span of three games, but it was offseason shoulder surgeries that caused the most concern.
Rice suffered an injury to the labrum in his right shoulder in training camp last year after he got tangled up with cornerback Marcus Trufant. He missed Seattle's first two regular-season games as he strengthened the muscles around the joint to stabilize it.
At the time, he asked the medical staff to take a look at the left shoulder, too. A small tear was observed, but when surgeon James Andrews looked at it later, he noticed a much more severe tear, which led to the second shoulder operation.
Now, Rice is ready to break free.
"Everything is feeling good, right on pace to be ready for the season," Rice said. "I'm going to continue to push it."
Banks a bright spot
Brian Banks wore No. 43 and played middle linebacker, and while linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. noticed a little rust, there was some talent evident as well as Banks took part in Seattle's practice as a tryout player.
"Does he look like a ballplayer? Yes," Norton said. "Does he move well? Yes. Is there a chance? Absolutely."
Consider that a good first day for Banks, who was exonerated last month of charges of rape and kidnapping that had landed him in prison for five years in California. Banks tried out for the Seahawks last week and was invited back for this minicamp, after which the team could choose to offer him a contract.
"Obviously there's a little rust out there," Norton said. "But the idea is can he line up and can he chase the ball? So far, it's about making a first impression, and I like the first impression he left."
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @dannyoneil