TMZ- With NFL running backs going down like dominoes, Ray Rice is still training hard -- "staying ready" -- hoping that he'll get the call to come back to the league ... sources close to the RB tell TMZ Sports.
Rice hasn't played a single down since the 2013 season ... right before he was suspended and then cut from the Baltimore Ravens over the infamous domestic violence incident in February '14.
Now, with so many teams desperate to jump-start their running games due to injuries and lack of productivity -- sources close to Rice tell us he's preparing for a comeback.
"He still keeps in shape and is working out every day ... staying ready," one source close to Rice tells us ... while reminding us Rice is only 28 years old.
I'll never forget you Ray Ray. Those years at Rutgers that you weren't just building an NFL resume, but putting my alma mater on the map? Some of the best moments I have had as a sports fan. However, the truth is that those moments are over. I'll stop short of saying you deserve another chance, because part of the repercussions of your actions are that you are no longer deserving of anything. I do think someone of your talent level still has the skills to perform adequately in the NFL. but the fact is you're never going to get the opportunity to prove me right.
It's over. Not because you have nothing to add, but because there are too many younger, less polarizing players to add the very same thing. Your best chance of returning to your dream job was immediately after you got suspended from your dream job. People couldn't take a chance on you while your transgressions, and the imagery of them, were still so fresh in everyone's mind. Unfortunately for you, each day that people needed to forget about your mistakes was a day where your return became exponentially more difficult. 28 year old running backs don't get second chances if they jeopardized their first chance after their prime was already in the rearview mirror. Every single day an aging running back is out of football might as well be a month. Unemployed running backs basically age in dog years. If you want to take solace in something then find comfort in the fact that your position is likely the reason you aren't in the NFL. If you could rush the passer or press cover on the outside I wouldn't have to pity you every time wind of your potential return hit the news cycle. The dream is dead Ray. You made some fans along the way. You lost some fans along the way. You made some great memories. It sucks that most people will only remember the lone terrible one. I guess the good news is that you can still go into commentating. Everyone loves people of your namesake that played in Baltimore and have done some really shitty things in life, and I have no doubt you're a more intelligent person than the person I am basing that off of.