The Ravens have known for a while that they’d likely be without Ray Rice at the start of the 2014 season. Now, they know exactly how long their top running back will be sidelined. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will hand down a two-game suspension to Rice for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, sources confirmed Thursday. The league has not officially announced the suspension. That will keep the three-time Pro Bowl selection out of divisional games against the Cincinnati Bengals (Sept. 7) and Pittsburgh Steelers (Sept. 11). Under terms of the two-game suspension, Rice would lose two game checks for a total of $470,588. The news comes more than five weeks after Goodell met with Rice and his wife, Janay, on June 16 at the league’s New York City headquarters and questioned them about their Feb. 15 physical altercation in an elevator at an Atlantic City, N.J. casino. Rice, 27, was accused of striking his then-fiancee unconscious and ultimately was charged with felony aggravated assault. He was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail time and could lead to the charge being eliminated from his record. The NFL punishment was viewed as one of the final hurdles to Rice putting the legal matter behind him, and for the Ravens, who publicly supported the embattled player but also prepared for his multi-week absence, in moving on from the incident. Bernard Pierce, a backup for two seasons who is expected to be ready for training camp after having offseason shoulder surgery, should temporarily take over the starting role, assuming he is healthy enough to handle it. The Ravens also signed veteran free agent Justin Forsett and selected Coastal Carolina running back Lorenzo Taliaferro in the fourth round of the NFL draft.
Ray Rice to be suspended for two games, according to sources
Baltimore Sun | Jul 24