Vikings WR Rice remains on PUP list, won't play vs. Bears

Sidney Rice isn't ready quite yet.

The Minnesota Vikings didn't activate the wide receiver from the physically unable to perform list before the 4 p.m. ET deadline Saturday, according to a league source. It could be an indication that Rice, who had hip surgery in late August, wants another week to recover.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press cited two sources close to the situation Friday night in reporting that Rice already had decided to play Sunday against the Chicago Bears. However, Rice said he wanted to see how his body felt Saturday before making the call.

Rice practiced hard Thursday and reported some soreness Friday.

"Don't have that explosion that I used to have at this point, but it's getting better," Rice said. "It's coming back."

Asked then how important his long-term health is in his decision to take the field again, Rice said: "It's huge. Definitely, I want no setbacks, but I also want to help this team as much as I can."

The Vikings have a roster exemption for Rice until Nov. 24, according to the Star Tribune. After that, he must be activated or miss the season.

Rice had a breakout 2009 season, posting career highs in receptions (83), yards (1,312) and touchdowns (eight) and making his first Pro Bowl. Before that, the 2007 second-round draft pick had just 46 catches for 537 yards and eight touchdowns in two seasons.

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