The San Francisco 49ers' physician, Michael Dillingham, performed the surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and torn medial collateral ligament in Rice's left knee and estimated Rice will be sidelined four to six months.
The 34-year-old Rice had not missed a game due to injury in the first 12 years of his NFL career with the Niners. He started 189 straight non- strike games.
Steve Mariucci, the Niners' new coach, said: "No one player can replace a Jerry Rice. Our offense and defense is just going to have to work that much harder."
Rice suffered the injury on a reverse in the second quarter on Sunday, when the Tampa Bay defensive end, Warren Sapp, dragged him to the ground by his facemask, buckling his left knee.
Either Terrell Owens or Iheanyi Uwaezuoke will replace Rice when San Francisco visit St Louis on Sunday.