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Roethlisberger’s time cut 2 games by Goodell

Associated Press / September 4, 2010

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Ben Roethlisberger is getting time off for good behavior.

He’ll be back on the field for the Pittsburgh Steelers two games earlier than expected after convincing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that he is turning his life around.

The quarterback, accompanied by team president Art Rooney, met with Goodell early yesterday and was told he could return Oct. 17 against Cleveland after sitting out four games.

Roethlisberger was suspended in April for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, but Goodell said at the time he would review the player’s behavior over the next few months. Goodell was satisfied that Roethlisberger has followed the league’s guidelines and stayed out of trouble.

“You have told me and the Steelers that you are committed to making better decisions,’’ Goodell said in a letter to the two-time Super Bowl winner. “Your actions over the past several months have been consistent with that promise and you must continue to honor that commitment.’’

Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a Georgia college student following a night of drinking in a Milledgeville, Ga., bar March 5. He was not charged by Georgia authorities.

The league said the “reinstatement is contingent on Roethlisberger continuing to adhere to the program established by our advisors and avoiding any further violations of the personal conduct policy.’’

While he is out, Roethlisberger can’t practice with the Steelers, nor can he attend games or represent the team in any way, or have contact with any member of the coaching staff or football operations personnel.

QB Leftwich ailing
Byron Leftwich’s strained left knee ligament could sideline him for most or all of the first month of the season, leaving the Steelers with only two healthy quarterbacks — Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch — for their Sept. 12 opener against Atlanta.

After the Steelers learned the nature of Leftwich’s injury, Dixon was taken out of Thursday’s preseason finale after throwing a single pass, for a touchdown — a strong indication he was being protected for the opener. Batch played the final 2 1/2 quarters, throwing only four passes.

Giants get Rosenfels
The Giants acquired quarterback Sage Rosenfels and running back Darius Reynaud from the Vikings for a pick in next year’s draft and a conditional selection in 2012. The Giants had placed backup QB Jim Sorgi on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, leaving untested Rhett Bomar as the only other quarterback. Rosenfels, entering his 10th season, was third behind Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson in Minnesota. The Vikings acquired Rosenfels from Houston before last season and signed him to a two-year deal worth $9 million . . . Patrick Crayton, who wanted out of Dallas the minute the Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant, was dealt to the Chargers for undisclosed considerations, likely a late-round draft pick. Dallas also traded offensive lineman Pat McQuistan to the Dolphins for undisclosed considerations . . . The Eagles acquired veteran offensive lineman Reggie Wells from the Cardinals in exchange for an undisclosed 2011 draft pick.

Dumervil out for year
Elvis Dumervil’s season is officially sacked. The Broncos had been holding out hope the league’s top sacker would make a quicker than anticipated recovery from a torn chest muscle and return to action in December. Dumervil, however, posted a message on his Twitter account last night that confirmed an NFL.com report he’ll be going on injured reserve, ending his season . . . The Texans released kicker Kris Brown, the only player remaining from the inaugural 2002 season. Brown, who appeared in all 128 games in Texans history, lost a training camp competition with Neil Rackers . . . The Browns’ Montario Hardesty tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in his NFL preseason debut Thursday and will be out for the year, a cruel twist for the second-round pick. After missing all of training camp with a bone bruise in his right knee, the Tennessee product was finally in Cleveland’s backfield for the final exhibition game against Chicago. But he left Browns Stadium on crutches and an MRI confirmed the torn ACL — the same injury he suffered as a freshman in 2005 at Tennessee . . . LenDale White will miss the season after rupturing his right Achilles’ tendon in the second quarter of Denver’s 31-24 exhibition loss Thursday at Minnesota. White will undergo surgery Tuesday . . . While the fate of quarterback Matt Leinart remains uncertain — even after coach Ken Whisenhunt told rookies Max Hall and John Skelton they have made Arizona’s roster — the Cardinals released 16 players, including outside linebacker Cody Brown, a second-round pick in 2009 out of UConn, and inside linebacker Monty Beisel . . . The Chiefs cut seven players, including wideout Rich Gunnell and cornerback Mike Richardson.

It’s all Haynesworth
In the final preseason game — a game in which 31 of his teammates didn’t even suit up — Albert Haynesworth went from start to finish in the Redskins’ 20-10 loss in Arizona Thursday. The defensive lineman with the $100 million contract played 49 of 55 snaps and was still on the field in the fourth quarter, huddling with third-stringers and no-hopers. “He’s got to get in football shape,’’ coach Mike Shanahan said . . . Lions rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was fined $7,500 by the NFL for his roughing-the-passer penalty on Cleveland quarterback Jake Delhomme last Saturday . . . Indianapolis police say Colts defensive tackle Fili Moala was arrested for driving while intoxicated, public intoxication, and speeding. Moala, 25, was released yesterday.

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