On Friday, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and his wife, Janay Palmer, both met the media during a scheduled press conference for the first time since they were arrested following a February incident that took place in an elevator of an Atlantic City casino.
During the awkward press conference that included some bad choice of words by Rice, who will likely avoid being convicted of aggravated assault thanks to pretrial intervention program, the running back apologized for the incident, as did his wife.
Now that Rice has had his say and the police investigation of the incident now looking like it is over, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will next have to decide what kind of punishment to hand down to the Ravens running back.
At the conclusion of the press conference, NFL columnist Mike Freeman reported on Twitter that a source told him that Rice likely faces a “significant” multi-game suspension.
When you consider that Goodell initially suspended Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for six games back in 2010 when he was never charged with any crime following accusations that he sexually assaulted a woman in a bathroom of a Georgia nightclub, one would think that Rice will be suspended for at least four games. That’s the same amount of games that Roethlisberger was forced to miss after Goodell reconsidered the length of the punishment.
Should Rice wind up being suspended for at least two games to start the 2014 season, it would result in him missing the contests against the Cincinnati Bengals and Steelers. Even though he his coming off of a dismal 2013 season in which he rushed for only 660 yards, it still would be a big blow for the Ravens.
It’s currently unknown when Goodell will make his ruling, but it should come after Rice is summoned to the league offices to meet with the commissioner. That meeting is expected to happen soon.