BBAO: Why surgery now for Sidney Rice?*

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Minnesota Vikings receiver Sidney Rice might be headed for surgery on his hip, according to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune. If so, both and he and the Vikings will be open to the obvious question: Why now?

NFL teams are rarely forthcoming about injuries, so we don't know some crucial details about Rice's condition -- namely, the exact nature of the ailment or even which hip is affected. Here's what we do know, however: The injury originally occurred in the 2009 playoffs. On my calendar, that was almost eight months ago. If surgery was necessary, why not take care of it before regular-season games were impacted? Did something happen between the playoffs and now to make surgery necessary? Or did rumors of Rice's discontent with his contract play a role in the timetable?

If Rice has surgery, he could miss the first half of the season. That would leave the Vikings without their leading receiver during the tough early portion of their schedule. It would be a huge loss no matter how it happened, but for it to go down like this deserves our skepticism.

*Update: Rice confirmed to the Star Tribune that he had surgery Monday. More to come later in the day.

Continuing around the NFC North: