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Ben Roethlisberger says hit by Raiders' Philip Wheeler was illegal

Ben Roethlisberger's last memory of the replacement referees -- if he can remember it -- will likely be what he considered to be a late hit by Philip Wheeler of the Oakland Raiders.

Wheeler flew into the back of Roethlisberger's legs after Roethlisberger completed a pass to Mike Wallace for a gain of 22 yards, causing the ninth-year veteran to limp somewhat while moving to the line of scrimmage for the next play. He told reporters about the hit Wednesday:

"I felt it. I didn't know what happened. I saw it on film. Technically, it's against the rules; you're on the ground, you go at a guy's legs -- but when's the last time I got a call? You know me, I don't complain about it, I never like to call someone dirty. I don't think it was necessarily dirty, I hope he wasn't trying to hurt me. I think he was trying to get me down but I don't think you have to do it that way."

Wheeler's hit was unpenalized. The Steelers picked up the first down anyway on the third-and-long play, but would have gained 15 extra yards on the drive, which ended up in a touchdown regardless.

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