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NFL’s next step unclear in latest domestic violence case of Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers watches from the bench during the fourth quarter of a loss to the Buffalo Bills at Bank of America Stadium on August 8, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Grant Halverson/Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. and TORONTO, Ont.- Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he isn’t sure if Greg Hardy will play Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and that the team hasn’t considered releasing the Pro Bowl defensive end, who is involved in a domestic violence case.

But the NFL is reportedly discussing whether to intervene in the case, according to NFL.com.

Though he played in the season opener against Tampa Bay, Hardy was benched for last Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions, just days after Rivera said he would be playing.

“We have to go through a very difficult process and he has to go through one, as do other people as well,” Rivera said, according to Fox News.

“This is a very serious situation and set of circumstances. We are going to work things out and hopefully we get it right.”

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Rivera says Hardy will continue to practice and attend team meetings, but he won’t make a decision on if he plays until later this week.

Hardy was convicted July 15 of assault on a female and communicating threats, but is appealing the ruling; the case will be tried before a jury in November.

The incident stemmed from a May 13 arrest. A warrant showed Hardy was accused of throwing his ex-girlfriend to the floor and bathtub, slamming her against a futon full of assault weapons and threatening to kill her, according to NFL.com.

Hardy’s attorney said the player was under attack and that it was Hardy who called 911 when the woman wouldn’t leave the premises, said the report.

Ray Rice
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

Hardy’s case is coming under the spotlight after the Minnesota Vikings reinstated Adrian Peterson Monday after a one-game deactivation following a child abuse charge. Peterson was charged with using a branch or “switch” to spank his four-year-old son. He has since met with a psychologist and issued an apology saying he “never ever intended to harm” him.

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READ MORE: When does discipline become child abuse?

NFL protocol was also scrutinized September 8, when February video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator was released. Hours later, Rice was suspended indefinitely by the league and released by the Ravens—a departure from the initial two-game suspension he got when the first video emerged, showing him dragging an unconscious Janay Palmer (now Janay Rice) from the elevator.

READ MORE: Ray Rice case highlights NFL’s domestic abuse problem

With files from Andrew Russell

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