Reports emerged Monday that Rice was planning to appeal his suspension, handed down to replace his original two-game ban after video emerged that showed Rice striking then-fiancée Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator.
Rice is reportedly seeking Goodell's recusal on the grounds that he's already prejudged Rice in the case and that Goodell is a witness. Rice's contention is that he initially informed Goodell and the NFL that he punched Palmer, and the increased suspension handed down last week was the sole result of the league bending to public pressure.
Goodell maintains he nor anyone in the NFL had seen the video until it was leaked to the public, and it had been requested but never delivered to the NFL. The Associated Press reported that a law enforcement official sent the video to the league office and has a voicemail from an NFL representative confirming receipt of the video.
Goodell's handling of the Rice case, which includes the veracity of his claims about never receiving the video, will be the subject of an investigation led by former FBI director Robert Mueller III and overseen by Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II and New York Giants owner John Mara, the results of which will be made public.
Pro Football Talk reports Rice's appeal will be filed Tuesday.
- Ben Estes