OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ray Rice stepped to the microphone, took a deep breath and spoke for 17 minutes about what he called “the biggest mistake of his life.”
His arrest for domestic violence against his then-fiancée last February is something Rice figures will haunt him long after NFL career has ended.
The Baltimore Ravens running back was arrested on assault charges after a Feb. 15 altercation in New Jersey in which he allegedly struck Janay Palmer. Rice has been accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being dropped.
“My actions that night were totally inexcusable,” said Rice, who spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since receiving a two-game suspension from the NFL.
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“My daughter is 2 years old now. One day she’s going to know the power of Google. Me having to explain that to her what happened that night, that’s something I have to live with the rest of my life.”
Rice was referring to a grainy video in which he is shown dragging Palmer, now his wife, from an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. He dismissed the notion that he was provoked.
“I don’t want to keep reliving the incident. I’m trying to move forward,” he said. “What happened that night was a huge mistake, and that’s what I’ll keep it at. I don’t condone any of my behavior. I take full responsibility for my actions. My wife can do no wrong.”
BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan warned everyone not to count out rookie Johnny Manziel in his battle with veteran Brian Hoyer for the team’s starting quarterback job.
Although Hoyer has taken all the snaps with the first-team offense through the first five full-squad practices of training camp and Manziel has worked exclusively with the second unit, Shanahan insists the derby is a dead heat. Most observers believe Hoyer is clearly ahead at this point, but Shanahan isn’t going along with that narrative.
“I think they’ve both done a good job,” he said.
• The San Francisco 49ers and coach Jim Harbaugh have decided to table contract extension talks until after the 2014 season, team CEO Jed York told a Yahoo! television show. Harbaugh is entering the fourth year of a five-year contract and is being paid $5 million a year.
• Baltimore Ravens rookie defensive lineman Brent Urban has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and will need season-ending surgery.
• The Indianapolis Colts put starting left guard Donald Thomas on season-ending injured reserve with a torn right quad, the same diagnosis that ended his 2013 season after just two games.
• New York Jets safety Calvin Pryor, the team’s first-round draft pick, returned to practice on a limited basis as he recovers from a concussion.
• Donald Trump’s attorney confirmed the real-estate mogul has been chosen to advance to the next round of bidding to purchase the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula also have been selected by the firm Morgan Stanley for advancement.