Goodell can still be ordered to testify by former U.S. district judge Barbara S. Jones, who is hearing the appeal, according to Schefter. From his report:
"The last thing the NFL wants, sources say, is to have Goodell's word matched up against Ray Rice's, who has told people he told the commissioner nothing but the truth."
Rice is appealing the indefinite suspension handed to him by Goodell on Sept. 8. Goodell's recusal from the appeal was requested since he is a witness in Rice's case.
The former Ravens' running back will reportedly argue that Goodell had no basis to extend his suspension from two games to an indefinite period. Goodell raised the suspension after new video emerged showing Rice punching his then-fiancée in a casino elevator in February. Goodell denies that Rice told him the truth about what happened when he met with him over the summer.
There are also questions about whether Goodell and the NFL had already seen or possessed the video when the initial two-game suspension was given. Goodell has maintained that neither he nor anyone working for the league received a copy of it before it was released to the public in September, which Associated Press reports have disputed.
Former FBI director Robert Mueller III is currently conducting an investigation into Goodell's handling of Rice's case, at the NFL's request.
- Molly Geary