Ray Rice will appeal his indefinite suspension by the NFL at a hearing set to take place Nov. 5 and 6, according to the NFL Network's Albert Breer. Rice's suspension was handed down by the league after TMZ publicized the video of the former Baltimore Ravens running back knocking his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, unconscious with a punch inside an Atlantic City casino elevator.
Still unknown is whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be at the hearing. Judge Barbara Jones will handle the appeal after the NFL Players Association requested that Goodell not preside over the hearing due to his role in Rice's suspension. The NFLPA would like Goodell to testify, however. Jones is expected to decide this week whether the commissioner will be forced to speak.
A report over the weekend cited legal experts who believe that Rice is likely to win his appeal, and could be reinstated this season. Rice will argue that TMZ released a version of the incident that was heavily edited and misrepresented Palmer's role in inciting the incident. He may also argue that the NFL already had full knowledge of what transpired. Rice has maintained that he was upfront with the league in meetings about the incident, which Goodell has denied.
The consequences of the hearing could be far-reaching. The outcome could shed more light on whether Goodell took lengthy measures to conceal what he knew when he initially suspended the running back for four games during the offseason. Reports suggest that the NFL and the Ravens knew everything that was depicted on the tape released by TMZ before it was posted by the website, and that both organizations worked in concert to cover up details of the incident.