Investigator: ‘No Evidence’ NFL Saw Ray Rice Elevator Video Before Public

For now, at least, the NFL’s hole hasn’t been dug any deeper.

While there is no defending the NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice incident, the league avoided the most damning allegation, according to the conclusions of a report filed Thursday.

Former FBI director Robert Mueller, who was hired to investigate the league’s handling of the matter, found “no evidence” the league saw the video of Rice assaulting then-fiancée Janay Palmer in an elevator before the video went public.

“We found no evidence that anyone at the NFL had or saw the in-elevator video before it was publicly shown,” Mueller said in a press release. “We also found no evidence that a woman at the NFL acknowledged receipt of that video in a voicemail message on April 9, 2014.

“We concluded there was substantial information about the incident — even without the in-elevator video — indicating the need for a more thorough investigation. The NFL should have done more with the information it had, and should have taken additional steps to obtain all available information about the Feb. 15 incident.”

The NFL called for Mueller’s investigation after TMZ Sports released a video in September showing Rice strike Palmer in an Atlantic City, N.J., hotel elevator. Rice, who initially was suspended two games, eventually was released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL in September.

Rice’s suspension was later vacated by a judge.

Thumnbail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images