Rice hopes to be ready for regular season
That's good because the Seahawks are hoping he can carry a heck of a load in his second season with the team.
Seattle made a number of improvements to its roster in the offseason. It added to its pass rush by drafting Bruce Irvin and signing Jason Jones. They re-signed Marshawn Lynch to lead the running game and drafted Robert Turbin to give the team a little more horsepower in the backfield. Seattle got deeper on the offensive line with veterans like Deuce Lutui and Frank Omiyale, and it traded for Kellen Winslow Jr. to provide the ingredients for the two-tight end offense it hoped to run last year.
But the Seahawks didn't add receivers. Not really any way. Oh, they'll give Antonio Bryant a kick of the tires to see if there's any tread yet and there's some youngsters they brought in, but a year after signing Rice to headline its wide-receiving corps, this offseason amounted to a vote of confidence that it has the ingredients for a dynamic passing game on the outside with Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Mike Williams when he gets healthy.
That makes the question of Rice's health all the more important considering he has missed more regular-season games (17) than he has played in (15) over the previous two seasons.
Rice went on injured reserve last December after suffering his second concussion in the span of three games, but it was the news that he underwent surgery on both shoulders after the season that was most surprising. He had the labrum repaired in each.
So what went into that decision?
"I knew I tore this one (right) in the beginning of training camp last year," Rice said, indicating it was his right shoulder.
This was the injury that kept him out of the first two regular-season games, one that coach Pete Carroll said Rice suffering during a training-camp workout when he got tangled up with cornerback Marcus Trufant.
"I asked them if they could look at the left one because it gave me a little problem in the back," Rice said. "They thought it was just a little tear in the back when they read the first MRI, but once Dr. (James) Andrews got in there, he saw that it was an actual 360-degree tear. I ended up having to get 11 anchors in this one, and 11 anchors in this one."
Rice had the right shoulder operated on first, the left one a month and a half later, and while Rice is out running on the field, he still hasn't been cleared for contact.
"Everything is feeling good, right on pace to be ready for the season," Rice said. "I'm going to continue to push it."
Had the shoulders been an ongoing problem for Rice before the surgery?
"It has," Rice said. "A lot of slipping out, popping out, going back into place. Right now, they're supposed to be brand-new shoulders and take it from here. I've got to continue to gain my strength back in those shoulders and prepare for the season."
In terms of strength, Rice has added 11 pounds of muscle since the team's offseason conditioning program began in mid-April. He weighs 209 pounds now, and he's hoping to be 215 when training camp starts.