There's a growing sense inside the league that former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who last played in a game Dec. 29, 2013, might get a chance to play in the NFL again this season, according to a league source.
After Week 1, NFL player contracts no longer are guaranteed for the season. The chances of Rice finding work will increase as more running backs are injured in the opening weeks.
In the past, teams such as the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills have considered signing Rice.
Rice, 29, has remained in NFL-ready shape, consistently working out. The NFL has been impressed by how Rice has handled his football exile and has considered adding him to the league office as a spokesman, according to a league source. But the source said the NFL isn't sure it will get the chance to hire him because of interest among teams.
Rice told USA Today Sports in July that he would donate his entire 2016 salary to charity if signed by an NFL team this season.
Rice, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in September 2014 and was released by the Ravens when a video surfaced of him punching his then-fiancee in an elevator. His suspension was later overturned by a neutral arbitrator.