Brett Favre's job just got a whole lot tougher.
Favre and the Minnesota Vikings will play the first half of the season — or more — without Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice, who had hip surgery this week.
Coach Brad Childress said Tuesday that Rice had the procedure in Vail, Colo., on Monday night. He couldn't give a specific timetable for Rice's return, but said typically it takes about eight weeks before a player can even get back to practice, let alone game action.
"I would think probably at least eight weeks before we're talking about doing anything," Childress said.
It's a huge blow for the Vikings, who have very little depth at receiver. Percy Harvin has struggled with migraines during the preseason, and the team signed veteran Javon Walker on Tuesday to help out.
After catching 45 passes during an injury-plagued first two seasons in Minnesota, Rice emerged as Favre's go-to guy in his third season with 83 catches for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. He earned his first Pro Bowl bid, though he was injured in the playoffs and did not play.
Big deal for Jets' Mangold
Nick Mangold, the New York Jets' two-time Pro Bowl center, became the highest-paid player at his position, signing a seven-year deal that could be worth up to $55 million.
"To be able to say, 'the highest-paid center' is very nice to hear," Mangold said. "It worked out well for both sides."
The deal includes over $22 million in guaranteed money, a person with knowledge of the contract told the Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because the team did not announce details of the deal.
"Signed, sealed and delivered," a smiling Mangold said.
Ochocinco fined for tweets
The NFL has fined Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Ochocinco $25,000 for the timing of his tweets.
The league said Tuesday that Ochocinco's messages appeared on his Twitter page during a prohibited time at the Cincinnati-Philadelphia preseason game Friday night.
The use of cellphones, computers or other electronic equipment by players and coaches is prohibited from 90 minutes before kickoff through the end of the game.
The NFL's statement said Ochocinco's messages on the social media site showed up at 6:50 p.m. and 9:53 p.m. Kickoff was 8:07.
Ochocinco apologized — how else? — through Twitter. "I won't do it again," he tweeted.
A sprained ankle will keep quarterback Donovan McNabb on the sideline Friday night when the Washington Redskins play the Jets. McNabb has been unable to practice since getting hurt in Saturday night's preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens. … Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will wear a protective brace on his surgically repaired left knee "probably forever" to guard against future injuries. Sanchez, who first sported the bulky brace at practice Monday, said Tuesday that he will wear it during all future games and practices. The second-year quarterback says Coach Rex Ryan told him to wear it after a scare in Saturday's preseason game at Carolina when a Panthers player almost rolled into his knee. … The Denver Broncos have juggled their linebacking lineup, releasing nine-year veteran Akin Ayodele and moving Mario Haggan back inside. … The NFL's finance committee has unanimously recommended approval of billionaire Stan Kroenke's bid to take full control of the St. Louis Rams.