TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Goodell clears Big Ben to return to practice

Steelers/NFL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Scott Brown
Friday, May 28, 2010
 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell cleared Ben Roethlisberger to return to practice, an indication that the Steelers quarterback is making the kind of progress that could get a six-game suspension in 2010 reduced to four games.

The National Football League announced Roethlisberger's reinstatement Thursday night. The two-time Super Bowl winner is expected to practice with the Steelers on Tuesday when they resume offseason drills.

Roethlisberger had been barred from the Steelers' facility since April 21, when Goodell suspended him for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy and ordered him to undergo a behavioral evaluation.

Goodell allowed Roethlisberger, who has been accused of sexual assault twice since July, to return after "recommendations of our medical experts," the NFL said in a statement.

"The commissioner will continue to monitor Roethlisberger's progress as he begins the next phase of his recommended plan, and (Goodell) will meet with Roethlisberger again at an appropriate time."

The NFL said Goodell will review Roethlisberger's progress prior to the start of the regular season and decide whether to reduce the suspension to four games.

The league also said in its release: "Failure to cooperate and follow (Goodell's) plan could result in a longer suspension."

Ryan Tollner, Roethlisberger's agent, could not be reached for comment last night.

Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a release: "We look forward to having Ben rejoin his teammates on the practice field."

Roethlisberger has missed 11 practices since Goodell handed down the longest suspension ever for a player who has violated the personal conduct policy -- it was enacted in 2007 -- but never been arrested.

The Steelers have six more voluntary practices that run through June 10.

Roethlisberger has kept a low profile since a 20-year-old college student accused him of sexually assaulting her March 5 in Milledgeville, Ga.

His teammates have said Roethlisberger will be embraced when he returns to the Steelers.

Wide receiver Hines Ward said getting back to work at the Steelers' headquarters will be therapeutic for Roethlisberger, who participated in two practices before Goodell suspended him.

"The worst thing is for Ben to sit around at home and sulk about everything," said Ward, who was a co-captain on offense last season with Roethlisberger.

"We always say football is our sanctuary to get away from our problems. Our job is to help him feel comfortable. We're just trying to help him cope and get over this and move on."

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Steelers

  1. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
  2. Inside the Steelers: Ventrone suffers right ankle injury
  3. IOC urges US to come up with another bid city for 2024 Games
  4. Steelers LB Timmons has grown into leadership role on defense
  5. Steelers notebook: Backup QB Gradkowski remains out with shoulder issue
  6. Steelers tackle Beachum braces for competition along offensive line
  7. Steelers notebook: Rookie CB Golson still dealing with left shoulder pain
  8. Rossi: St. Vincent a football sanctuary during Steelers training camp
  9. Steelers’ Brown arrives in style, vows to be ‘the best in the world’
  10. Steelers RB Bell ready despite being in limbo
  11. Steelers ‘confident’ bid for 2023 Super Bowl in offing