NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t rule out a return for Ray Rice

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Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

NEW YORK — Fired from his team and suspended indefinitely from the NFL, former Ravens running back Ray Rice‘s career has been sidelined.

But his punishment — for an altercation in which he knocked out his then-fiancée — may not keep him off the gridiron for good.

The history of sports includes many athletes-turned-villains who have found redemption.

And now, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, just two days after suspending Rice, told “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday that Rice might yet get another chance.

Asked if it might be possible for Rice to play in the NFL again, Goodell said, “I don’t rule that out, but he would have to make sure that we are fully confident that he is addressing this issue.”

“Clearly, he has paid a price for the actions he’s already taken,” he told CBS.

Whether any NFL coach or owner would provide that opportunity to the disgraced Rice at some point in the future is another question altogether.

Goodell’s handling — or mishandling, as his critics say — of the Rice domestic violence incident has led to calls for his firing, too.