The Baltimore Ravens will likely be without one of their best offensive weapons for the start of the 2014 NFL season. Though running back Ray Rice is coming off the worst season of his 6-year career, but he's still only 27 and has less than 1,500 career carries.
That, and he battled a hip injury for much of 2013, and there's reason to believe he can still have a positive impact for the Ravens.
But they'll likely be without him for at least the first couple of games this year. Baltimore believes the NFL will hand down a multiple-game suspension for his offseason assault of his wife at an Atlantic City casino:
The Ravens are bracing for a potential multiple-game suspension, but no discipline has been determined, and Rice is expected to meet soon with commissioner Roger Goodell.
"I'm assuming he will meet with the commissioner at some point in the near future and make a decision about what discipline, if any, is appropriate," Ravens team president Dick Cass said. "I'm not going to speculate. The commissioner is going to decide that. I'm going to leave it to the commissioner."
If Rice is suspended for at least two games, it means he'll miss Week 1 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals and Week 2 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. If his suspension lasts long, he'll miss Week 3 at the Cleveland Browns, and possibly Week 4 vs. the Carolina Panthers.