ProFootballTalk reports that Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended two games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Rice was caught on tape striking his wife unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator on February 15. He originally faced a felony assault charge, but enrolled in a pretrial intervention program that will allow him to avoid jail time. Rice will miss the first two games of the season against the Bengals and the Steelers.
There's a lot of much-warranted discussion taking place right now about the message the NFL is sending by suspending players a year for substance abuse issues, while handing Rice a very-lenient two-game suspension for a violent offense. There's a strong whiff of wrongness about that. As far as fantasy goes, Ravens RB Bernard Pierce will fill in for the two games Rice will miss. If Pierce is able to take advantage of the opportunity, we could see a changing of the guard in Baltimore, especially if Rice continues the ineffective rushing he showed for most of last year. Rice is currently being drafted 27th among running backs, while Pierce is going 36th.