JANAY RICE, the wife of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, said during an interview yesterday that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wasn't honest when he said her husband was "ambiguous" about hitting her in an Atlantic City casino elevator.

Rice's interview, conducted by Matt Lauer, was shown yesterday on NBC's "Today" show. A second segment will air today.

Goodell originally suspended Rice for two games after meeting with him and his wife in June. After TMZ published a video in September showing Ray punching Janay, the Ravens released Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

Goodell subsequently claimed that Rice's account at their June meeting was "ambiguous" and "inconsistent" with the video.

"I know for a fact . . . that Ray told the honest truth that he's been telling from February," Janay said in the interview.

When asked if Goodell was honest when he said that Rice was "ambiguous" about hitting her in the elevator, Janay said, "I can't say he's telling the truth."

Janay said in the interview that Ray never hit her before the elevator incident. She also said that it was the Ravens who suggested she apologize along with her husband and participate in a press conference.

"They basically gave us a general script," she said.

Rice was originally charged with third-degree aggravated assault, but he was accepted into a pretrial diversion program.

His indefinite suspension was thrown out by former U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones last Friday, making him a free agent.

In another matter, the Washington Post reported yesterday that the NFL has told the players association in a letter that it possibly would allow someone other than Goodell to impose discipline on players but it would not allow anybody other than Goodell (or somebody appointed by the commissionerl) to hear the appeal of the disciplinary decision.

Right now, Goodell fulfills both roles.

Noteworthy

* New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft are listed as possible witnesses by prosecutors in the upcoming murder trial of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Mass.

The listing of Belichick's and Kraft's names does not necessarily mean they will testify.

* Cleveland quarterback Brian Hoyer said he should be the starter for the rest of the season.

Hoyer was replaced by Johnny Manziel in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to Buffalo after throwing two interceptions.

"You don't get to 7-5 in the NFL just lucking into it," Hoyer said. "It's been a lot of hard work . . . I feel like I can carry us through the next four games."

In other news, Cleveland wide receiver Miles Austin remains in a Buffalo hospital after sustaining a kidney injury during Sunday's loss to the Bills.

* Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter will spend at least another night in a Houston hospital being monitored with a lacerated spleen. He was hurt when hit by Texans safety Danieal Manning in the first quarter on a pass that wound up being intercepted.

* Jacksonville likely will be without right tackle Austin Pasztor for the rest of the season after he ruptured a hamstring in Sunday's win over the New York Giants.

* Bud Grant Way is now a formally recognized street in Minneapolis, just to the south of the under-construction Minnesota Vikings stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2016.

The sign was posted at a ceremony featuring Grant, the former Vikings coach who led the team to four Super Bowls.