Jun 14, 2014 04:31 PM EDT | Drew Jacobs (firstname.lastname@example.org)
While Ray Rice is off the hook for assault, he may still face suspension from the NFL. Even if he is suspended, however, he may still come back a starter. As the Ravens wait for Commissioner Roger Goodell to make a decision they insist that if he is suspended he will be allowed to come back and claim his starting position as running back.
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Though the league is famous for doling out swift punishment to its stars, there is still the chance that he would be suspended for allegedly assaulting his wife in an Atlantic City casino in February. At time of writing there is no word from anyone in the NFL regarding Rice's case, but a statement in March indicates that he may still be on the hook (via NFL.com):
"The league continues to monitor Rice's legal situation, but gave no timetable on a possible suspension on the heels of the runner's arrest [February] for simple assault at an Atlantic City casino."
Last month Rice avoided trial by applying for pre-trial intervention.
If the league does suspend Rice, he will be able to earn his spot back upon his return (via 4 For 4):
"Rice will get a chance to take back the starting job when he gets back. (HC John) Harbaugh likes sticking with the hot hand, but Rice has earned the right to get first crack at the No. 1 job because of his track record."
The Ravens indicate that Rice is still an integral part of their offensive plans and they intend to put him to work despite decreased output in the last few years. Reports from team OTA's have him looking good after a few years of injury-plagued play, and coaches have noticed his "burst" which had been noticeably lacking for some time.
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