Ray Rice entered in a not guilty plea this morning and likely won't face any jail time from an incident at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. this past February.
But though he'll stay away from the slammer (barring a change of events), Rice probably won't be able to avoid a suspension of some sort. According to The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson, Rice's case will be reviewed by the NFL under its personal conduct policy.
The story states that plenty of other first-offender athletes have been suspended by the league. Cary Williams and Fabian Washington were among players that were forced to sit out games.
Wilson later tweeted that the precedent shows that brief suspension is possible in matters like this:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Previous NFL suspensions for first-time offenders, even those who get pretrial intervention program, has been one to two games.</p>— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) <a href="https://twitter.com/RavensInsider/statuses/461877867463200768">May 1, 2014</a></blockquote>
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If Rice is out for two games, that means the Ravens won't have him for the first two games of the season against the Bengals and Steelers, two division games that could mean a lot later in the year. It'll be important for Bernard Pierce and a potential rookie running back to be ready to start the regular season without Rice, assuming he's not available when the season starts.