Former Ravens running back Ray Rice is waiting to find out how U.S. Judge Barbara S. Jones will rule in his appeal arguing that the indefinite suspension that the NFL handed down earlier this year constituted a second punishment for the same offense that led to a two-game suspension after his domestic violence case was wrapped up in the New Jersey legal system.
If Jones rules in his favor, as many expect she will, Rice would be eligible to play right away although he’d need to find a team willing to bring him on board at this point in the season.
One possibility would be the Colts, who have lost Ahmad Bradshaw to injury last Sunday and have been without Vick Ballard for the entire season and who are coached by Chuck Pagano. Pagano was Ravens assistant while Rice was on the team, but Ed Werder of ESPN reports that won’t happen. According to Werder, the Colts would have no interest in Rice if he is reinstated.
Beyond the potential PR hit they’d take from bringing Rice on board, there’s also the prospect of bringing a player on board late in the season after he’s spent months away from the game working against Rice getting a job in 2014. If that’s how things play out, Trent Richardson, who has averaged 3.12 yards per carry since arriving from Cleveland in a trade, will be a key player for the Colts the rest of the way.