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NFL notes: Dates set for Ray Rice’s suspension appeal

Associated Press

A hearing on Ray Rice’s appeal of his indefinite suspension will be held Nov. 5 and 6, two people familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

Rice was suspended indefinitely Sept. 8 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after a video of Rice hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator was released publicly. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell originally had suspended Rice for two games.

Once the video became public, the Baltimore Ravens cut the star running back, and the league banned him indefinitely. The league considered the video to be new evidence, giving Goodell the authority to further suspend Rice.

The players’ union is appealing Rice’s suspension, saying Rice should not be punished twice.

A neutral arbiter, former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones, is expected to decide whether Goodell should testify.

Patriots resume practice

A three-day break gave the New England Patriots time to savor three straight wins.

Now they can focus on fixing the problems the winning streak couldn’t hide.

A suspect run defense. A mediocre offensive line. Replacing injured players.

The Patriots returned to practice hoping to solve all that – and soon.

After a home game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, the Patriots face one strong team after another — Denver, Indianapolis, Detroit, Green Bay and San Diego in succession.

Broncos shift focus

No more fun and games for Peyton Manning.

The new record-holder for most career touchdown passes made it clear he has put his historic Sunday night performance against San Francisco behind him.

That’s because Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers are making another Thursday night visit to Sports Authority Field.

The Chargers were the only team to beat the Broncos in Denver last season. That also was on a Thursday night.

Favre ceremony delayed

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre likely will delay his ceremonial return to Lambeau Field this fall because of Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr’s health problems, ESPN reports.

The Packers planned to have Starr and Favre on the field as honorary captains during the Nov. 9 game against the Chicago Bears, but Starr, 80, is recovering after a stroke and mild heart attack in September.

NFL adds award

The NFL has created a Sportsmanship Award that will be voted on by the players and presented to the winner on the eve of the Super Bowl.

Around the League

The Bills placed running back C.J. Spiller on the injured reserve/designated-to-return list, a day after he had surgery to repair a collarbone injury. … The NFL suspended Bucs defensive end Da’Quan Bowers for two games without pay for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

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