Head coach John Harbaugh broke his silence Friday on the arrest of Ray Rice by saying he expects the troubled running back to remain with the Ravens.
Speaking to reporters gathered at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Harbaugh was asked if there was a scenario in which he envisioned the 27-year-old not remaining with the organization this season.
“Not that I’m aware of,” Harbaugh said. “I haven’t seen anything that would remotely make me think that. … The facts will determine the consequences, always. That’s always the case. It’s a process.”
Rice and fiancée Janay Palmer were both arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence after an alleged physical altercation at an Atlantic City casino last weekend. Despite video surfacing of Rice appearing to drag an unconscious Palmer from an elevator and the court summons saying he struck her and rendered her unconscious, the pair were released and allowed to return home together.
Harbaugh confirmed that he spoke with Rice about the incident over the telephone earlier this week.
“The two people obviously have a couple issues that they have to work through, and they’re both committed to doing that.,” Harbaugh said. “That was the main takeaway for me from the conversation. They understand their own issues. They’re getting a lot of counseling and those kinds of things, so I think that’s really positive. That was the main takeaway.”
Of course, the Ravens remain in information-gathering mode as general manager Ozzie Newsome said Monday at a press conference to announce a contract extension for linebacker Terrell Suggs.
It was surprising for the head coach to speak so openly regarding Rice’s status considering how negatively the charge has been met publicly, but Harbaugh reminded everyone that much remains unknown about the case.
“There are a lot of facts and a process that has to be worked through in anything like this,” Harbaugh said. “There are a lot of question marks. But Ray’s character, you guys know his character, so you start with that.”