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Decision in Ray Rice's appeal hearing expected in roughly two weeks, sources say

It won't be that much longer before a decision is rendered in the appeal of indefinitely suspended former Ravens running back Ray Rice.

The third-party arbitrator who presided over the hearing that concluded last Thursday has informed lawyers to file their briefs by this Thursday with a decision expected to be handed down no later than 10 days afterward, according to sources with knowledge of the case.

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Under that timetable, Rice and the NFL would know by Nov. 24, at the latest, if his bid for immediate reinstatement has been successful.

Because of a gag order handed down by Barbara S. Jones, the former federal judge handling the case, the sources spoke anonymously.

During the appeal hearing, sources said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome backed up Rice's account that he told NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a June 16 meeting that he hit Janay Palmer in a casino elevator during a domestic-violence incident in February.

How Goodell testified remains unknown in terms of what justification the NFL's top executive cited for increasing Rice's original two-game suspension to an indefinite one after a graphic video surfaced Sept. 8 of Rice knocking out his then-fiancee.

In a disciplinary letter to Rice and the NFL Players Association, Goodell stated that Rice's version of events that he related to the NFL commissioner differed greatly from what was seen on the video.

Rice's representatives argued that the NFL violated the running back's rights under the concept of double jeopardy, that the league didn't consistently apply its personal-conduct policy based on precedent of similar previous incidents for first-time offenders like Rice and were aware of what happened in the altercation from Rice as well as statements from the Ravens.

Rice also has filed a separate grievance against the Ravens, citing wrongful termination of his $35 million contract.

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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