A ruling in Ray Rice's appeal of his indefinite suspension will likely come before Thanksgiving.
Rice's two-day hearing for his appeal ended last Thursday. According to La Canfora, former U.S. district judge Barbara Jones, who is overseeing the appeal, requested that both Rice and the NFL's lawyers present their closing arguments to her by this coming Thursday. She is then expected to rule on the case within 10 days.
Rice is appealing the indefinite suspension handed to him by commissioner Roger Goodell on Sept. 8 following the release of footage showing Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay in an Atlantic City casino elevator.
Goodell suspended Rice for two games over the summer after his arrest on domestic violence charges, and Rice was expected to argue that the commissioner had no basis to extend his suspension from two games to an indefinite period.
There are also questions about whether Goodell saw video showing the punch prior to its release by TMZ, and whether Rice told Goodell what happened in the elevator when the two met during a June 16 meeting.
Goodell has claimed that Rice's account at the June 16 meeting was "ambiguous" and "inconsistent" with the video footage. On Thursday, ESPN reported that Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome testified at Rice's appeal hearing that Rice told Goodell at the June meeting that he punched his then-fiancée.
Rice's hearing reportedly included more than two hours of testimony from Goodell and testimony from Rice, his wife, Newsome, NFL security chief Jeffrey Miller and Ravens president Dick Cass.
La Canfora has said several legal experts told him Rice "has an exceedingly strong case." If his appeal is successful, he could theoretically return to the NFL this season.
The running back has also filed a grievance against the Ravens for terminating his contract just hours before the NFL gave him the indefinite suspension.
- Molly Geary