Rice sidelined by surgery

The Minnesota Vikings have been dealt a blow with the news that Sidney Rice is to miss the first half of the season.

The Minnesota Vikings have been dealt a blow with the news that Sidney Rice is to miss the first half of the season. The wide receiver has been ruled out of the Vikings' opening fixtures after having a hip operation yesterday. Rice, who had 83 receptions for 1,312 yards last season was Brett Favre, the Vikings quarterback's favoured throwing option. To add cover to their wide receiver options, the Vikings have signed up free agent Javon Walker.

Meanwhile Eli Manning, who left a recent exhibition game after suffering a deep cut to his forehead, expects to start his team's game against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. Manning needed 12 stitches after a collision with his own teammate during the game which knocked his helmet off and sent him face first into the facemask of an opposing player. "I'll play on Saturday," Manning told the team's website. "So I'm excited about that."

* Agencies