Ray Rice suspended
Roger Goodell has finally ended months of speculation and handed down a 2 game suspension to Ray Rice after the Raven’s running back was arrested and indicted by a grand jury for knocking out and dragging his then fiance Janay Palmer out of an elevator at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Adam Schefter broke the news via Twitter.
NFL is suspending Ravens RB Ray Rice for the first two games this season, per sources. The suspension is expected to be announced today.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 24, 2014
Both Rice and Palmer were charged in the incident, which was caught on video. Rice, 27, was accepted into a pretrial intervention program back in May that allows him to have his assault charge dropped once completed. It has been well known and publicized that Rice would be suspended for some length of time, originally thought to be 2-3 games.
The league has faced a lot of backlash in recent months for handing down significant penalties for drug offenses while dishing out much shorter bans for more serious offenses. Many feel like harsher penalties should be administered for domestic violence incidents.
The Ravens organization has publicly stood behind Rice through the incident, declaring that he remains a big part of the team’s plans. Rice had been leading the pack at running back in practice and will likely start when he returns from suspension barring a knockout performance from another back.
Bernard Pierce is expected to start in Rice’s place while he serves the suspension. Pierce has flashed starting talent in the past, but was plagued by injury last year and ineffective when on the field. He is currently recovering from a January shoulder surgery, but is expected to be healthy in time for mandatory activities.
Pierce could very well run away with the job (pun intended) in Rice’s absence. Not only is new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak installing a running back friendly zone blocking scheme, but that very scheme is a perfect fit for one cut runners like Pierce. If he truly is healthy by the start of the season, Pierce has a huge opportunity ahead of him.