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Ray Rice appeal likely to be pushed back

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Ray Rice's appeal of his indefinite suspension is in a holding pattern.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, per two sources involved in the situation, that the running back's hearing is likely to be moved back until after former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III completes his independent investigation into the league's pursuit and handling of evidence in the Rice domestic violence incident.

Per the collective bargaining agreement, a hearing date must be set within 10 days of the notice of Rice's appeal, which was filed Sept. 16. If both sides agree to delay a healing, though, the process can be moved back. Rapoport was told the parties are expected to do just that.

Rice was initially suspended two games for a domestic violence incident involving his then-fiancee at an Atlantic City casino in February. The suspension became indefinite last week after TMZ posted a video that showed the former Baltimore Ravens runner striking Janay Rice in a Revel Casino elevator, causing her to hit her head on a railing and lose consciousness.

Prior to the release of the TMZ footage, the NFL announced sweeping changes to the league's Personal Conduct Policy. In a letter to league owners, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for his initial decision in the Rice case.

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