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The arbitrator who will hear Ray Rice’s appeal of his suspension for knocking out his fiancée could decide as early as Tuesday whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell must testify, NBC News has learned. If the arbitrator, Judge Barbara Jones, ultimately rules in favor of Rice, he could return to the NFL this season — if a team is willing to sign him.

The NFL players union says that Rice was denied due process and punished twice for the same crime. Goodell first suspended Rice, a former running back for the Baltimore Ravens, for two games. After TMZ Sports released video of Rice punching Janay Palmer, who is now his wife, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely.

Goodell would testify at an appeal hearing Nov. 5 and 6.

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