The Seattle Seahawks have earned a reputation for being a hard-nosed team over the years. There are quite a few grizzled veterans on the roster, although none may be tougher than wide receiver Sidney Rice. Rice has taken a considerable amount of big hits this season, but it has not stopped him from leaving it all on the field every Sunday.
Perhaps the biggest hit of the year came last weekend against the Arizona Cardinals. With the Seahawks up big, Rice was laid out in the middle of the field by Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson. He got right back up though, and as this article from Brady Henderson of My Northwest details, it isn't a coincidence that Rice is making it through the year without injury.
"My feelings was hurt because he hit me so hard," Rice joked after the game.
His body wasn't, however, and that's another testament to what Rice has done to improve his durability, something he lacked during his first five NFL seasons.
Rice added several pounds of muscle to his upper body following offseason surgeries on each shoulder. He also adopted a stretching routine and eliminated certain foods from his diet. It's safe to assume that the better care he's taken of his body has helped him escape injury despite taking some big hits, including the one he absorbed while scoring an overtime touchdown to beat the Bears in Week 12.
Rice will continue to shine for Seattle in the coming weeks as the regular season winds down. If the Seahawks are to make the postseason, few players will have had a bigger impact than Rice given the toughness he's displayed all year long.