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Ben Roethlisberger Tells Ray Lewis He Wants To Play

Suspended Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis he wishes he was allowed to play in the Steelers' game against the Ravens on Sunday.

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Lewis told Pittsburgh reporters on a conference call Wednesday that he exchanged messages this week with Roethlisberger, who regrets he can't play in a game that could decide the AFC North leader.

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"He wishes he were out there -- he wishes he were out there, man," Lewis said. "It's a respect thing we have playing against each other. It's a rivalry but, once again, it goes back to the level of respect we have."

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Roesthlisberger made an attempt before the season to get his suspension reduced to three games so he could play the Ravens this week, but it wasn't in the cards. However, Ben's anxiousness to get into the game is just another example of how big the Steelers-Ravens rivalry has become in recent years. Players really want to play in the game, and that's refreshing in a league where rivalries generally aren't what they are in other sports.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.