After meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Friday morning, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger received a reduced suspension of four games following a second consecutive offseason marred by rape allegations.
Here's Goodell in the league's official statement on the matter:
You have told me and the Steelers that you committed to making better decisions. Your actions over the past several months have been consistent with that promise, and you must continue to honor that commitment.
This means the star quarterback, who has looked pretty terrific on the field in preseason action, will return to the team following its Week 5 bye, when the Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns.
In related news, Byron Leftwich, who sustained a knee injury in last night's preseason game, will likely miss the season opener, according to ESPN. The Tribune-Review is reporting that Leftwich is out indefinitely. It will be interesting to see how this new development affects the forthcoming roster cuts, as head coach Mike Tomlin and his staff trim the roster to its final form.
I can't imagine Leftwich won't get cut at this point. The team could place him on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but then he would have to sit out for the first six weeks of the regular season. The Steelers probably can't afford to use four roster spots on quarterbacks, and they can't go into the season with Antwaan Randle El as their backup. So the way I see it, Leftwich will get cut, Dennis Dixon will start, and Charlie Batch will back him up.