Thursday October 16th, 2014

An arbiter selected by the NFL and the players union will likely decide next week if Roger Goodell should testify as part of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's appeal, a source told The Associated Press Thursday afternoon.

Barbara S. Jones, a former U.S. district judge, was asked by the commissioner and the players' union to hear Rice's appeal. The hearing is currently slated for November.

The union has said that the testimony of the commissioner and his staff is important to the case and influenced its decision to request an outside judge.

Report: NFL denies NFLPA request to have Goodell testify in Ray Rice appeal

Goodell has said that Jones will have "our full cooperation as she hears and decides this appeal," as well as that she "...ultimately is going to make the rules and determinations" of the case.

Rice was suspended for two games after the NFL's initial investigation into a February 15 incident in Atlantic City, in which Rice struck his then-fiancée, now wife, Janay Palmer.

In early September, released security camera footage showing Rice punching Palmer in a hotel elevator. After the tape's release, the Ravens cut Rice and the league subsequently suspended him indefinitely.

The NFL has said it had not seen the footage when it handed down the original suspension.

SI's Complete Ray Rice Coverage

Rice's appeal is expected to argue that the league decided to impose an indefinite suspension after seeing edited footage, according to the Baltimore Sun. The players' union is expected to cite Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement to show that the league punished Rice twice for the same infraction.

- Christopher Woody

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.