The NFL will hand down a two-game suspension to running back Ray Rice for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports first reported (via Twitter) that Rice’s suspension was expected to be for two games.
Rice faced assault charges this offseason after a domestic abuse incident in an Atlantic City casino with his then-fiancée, whom he has since married. The two-game ban for the incident is a little lighter than anticipated and may result in some public relations blow-back for the NFL, particularly as players around the league face four-game or year-long suspensions for violations relating to marijuana use.
While serving the two-game suspension, Rice will miss early-season AFC North battles with the Bengals and Steelers before returning for Week 3’s game against the Browns. As Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun observes (via Twitter), the lost pay checks for the two games Rice will sit out will total about $470K.
In Rice’s absence, Bernard Pierce figures to assume the role of Baltimore’s lead running back.