Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to multiple reports, in a move that is generating debate over how the NFL assigns punishment.
The announcement is expected to come later today from the NFL, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The punishment for violating the personal conduct policy stems from an offseason incident in which he allegedly struck his wife, who was then his fiancee, in an Atlantic City casino. Rice’s attorney called the altercation involving Janay Palmer at Revel Casino “a very minor physical altercation,” but a TMZ video showed him dragging Palmer, who appears to be unconscious, out of an elevator and dropping her onto the ground. According to a police statement, the couple“struck each other with their hands.” In May, Rice was accepted into a pretrial intervention program to avoid trial on aggravated assault charges and he met with Commissioner Roger Goodell in June.
The suspension is likely to be the first of a number being handed down by the NFL in connection with offseason incidents and will sideline Rice for games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers. During that time, Bernard Pierce, a backup who is recovering from shoulder surgery, is expected to be the top choice to start.
The term of the suspension is controversial, given that drug suspensions are often for four games and that Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has not been disciplined for his arrest.
Precedent for first-time offenders with domestic violence incidents with Ravens: Fabian Washington (one game), Cary Williams (two games)
— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) July 24, 2014
Yes, it's silly that Josh Gordon gets a 1 year ban for smoking weed and Ray Rice 2 games for domestic abuse….
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) July 24, 2014
Ray Rice’s suspension begins Aug. 30, eligible for reinstatement Sept. 12. Also will be fined additional $58,000 on top of 2-game suspension
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 24, 2014
NFL Logic. pic.twitter.com/VHM5IIPa2L
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) July 24, 2014
My, we're tone-deaf this morning. RT @SportsCenter Ray Rice has been one of the most productive RBs in the NFL in the last 5 seasons.
— SI_DougFarrar (@SI_DougFarrar) July 24, 2014
Remember, the commissioner isn't working for the "good of the game," he's working for the good of the owners of the game.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 24, 2014
NFL not usually tone deaf, but 2 game suspension for Ray Rice defies logic and explanation. Sends wrong message in all capitals.
— Don Banks (@DonBanks) July 24, 2014
Good thing he wasn't high when he beat his wife. He would've got four… RT @AdamSchefter NFL is suspending Ravens RB Ray Rice for two games
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) July 24, 2014
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) July 24, 2014