Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season by the NFL following his offseason arrest on an assault charge stemming from an incident with his fiancee.

Rice stands to lose more than $470,000 in base salary and will also be fined $58,000, per the report.

"We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice," general manager Ozzie Newsome said Thursday in a statement. "The time the Commissioner spent with Ray and Janay is typical of the extra steps the NFL takes when making decisions regarding discipline issues. While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league's decision and believe it is fair.

"We also respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again."

Rice can practice with the team and play in preseason games, with the suspension beginning Aug. 30. He is eligible to be reinstated Sept. 12, meaning Rice will miss a pair of key home games against division rivals -- the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals and a Week 2 tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.

"It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that's my fault," Rice said in a statement. "As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.

"My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident. I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that."

In a letter to Rice, commissioner Roger Goodell stated:

"As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL. The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.

"You will be expected to continue to take advantage of the counseling and other professional services you identified during our meeting. As you noted, this additional assistance has been of significant benefit to you and your wife, and it should remain a part of your practice as appropriate.

"I believe that you are sincere in your desire to learn from this matter and move forward toward a healthy relationship and successful career. I am now focused on your actions and expect you to demonstrate by those actions that you are prepared to fulfill those expectations."

The Ravens have been bracing for word from the league, anticipating a suspension without knowing how long Rice would be out.

"It's not my decision to make, or any of us here," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday before learning of the league's punishment for Rice. "It's in other people's hands. I'm sure there's a lot of complications making these kinds of decisions. There are many sides to every story, and there are a lot of factors. There are other people involved.

"There are other disciplinary situations involved around the league. That has to be weighed in and taken into context. You're going to have to sort through that to be fair. I know the league is very judicious about that. They work really hard to do the right thing. I don't think they worry about public opinion too much. They want to do the right thing by the people involved. We'll see where it goes."

The Ravens have contingency plans factoring in Rice being unavailable, including how they will utilize reserve running backs Bernard Pierce, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Justin Forsett. Now they can plan ahead, knowing how long Rice will be sidelined.

Pierce is expected to start in Rice's absence. However, he was only medically cleared Wednesday following an idle offseason. He averaged 2.9 yards per carry last season and underwent offseason shoulder surgery.

Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said Pierce should not be limited in training camp but the team will closely monitor his progress.