Ben Roethlisberger Suspension, Roster Cuts and Injury News for the AFC North

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer ISeptember 3, 2010

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 25:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on September 2, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to make their mandated roster cuts for the regular season, information about the roster is coming available.


Will Ben Roethlisberger have his suspension reduced?

Roethlisberger was in New York City today to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about his six-game suspension. The suspension was reduced, as expected, to four games.

According to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, the suspension reduction is contingent on Roethlisberger's continued adherence to the program the league has set out for him, and on no further conduct violations. (exerpt from story on

Though, there were many stories all over the web concerning reports that Roethlisberger was going to attempt to have the suspension reduced even further, apparently, none of those were true.

There was even talk that, had Roethlisberger asked for a shorter than four-game suspension, that Roger Goodell would have kept the suspension at six games, believing that Roethlisberger had not learned his lesson.

The talk that Art Rooney II was going to the meeting as well apparently had nothing to do with reducing the suspension even further.


How severe is the Byron Leftwich injury?

The decision of Mike Tomlin had as to who was going to be the starter for the Steelers against the Atlanta Falcons, may have been made for him already.

The injury suffered by Byron Leftwich against the Carolina Panthers is to the MCL in his left knee. What is not known to this point is the severity of the injury.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the injury is a second-degree sprain, and that Leftwich may be available for the Steelers opening game against the Falcons.

Though he admits, that even with a second degree sprain, Leftwich may still not be available.

While Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is not so optimistic about the injury, stating that the injury is much more severe than that, and the MCL is actually torn, which would mean that Leftwich will be out at least four weeks.

There are many reports as to the chance the Charlie Batch will take over the starter's role in the absence of both Roethlisberger and Leftwich, but the reality that Dennis Dixon only played one series against the Panthers means his health was more important to the team than that of Charlie Batch, who finished the game.


Montario Hardesty out for the season?

The Cleveland Browns believed they got the steal of the draft, when they selected Montario Hardesty in the second round of Aprils, 2010 NFL Draft. The reason Hardesty fell so far had nothing to do with talent, but injury concerns.

Those fears came true in Cleveland, as Hardesty tore his ACL in the Browns final, and his first pre-season game. confirms their previous report that it is in fact a torn ACL, and Hardesty's season is over.

The good news for Browns fans is, running back seems to be the one position where they have depth, and this injury should not be as costly to the team as losing their best player at another position would be.


Will Ed Reed be placed on the PUP list?

Coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens has stated that he is not going to decide the status of Ed Reed until Saturday, when final roster cuts are made.

Reed has stated that he would like a new contract, but also that his is only playing at 35 percent, due to the hip injury he suffered near the end of the 2009 season.

The status of Ed Reed is going to go a long way towards the success of the Ravens, due to the injuries the Ravens had in their secondary last year, and having already lost starting corner Dominique Foxworth for 2010 with a torn ACL.


Bengals injuries:

In the last week, the Cincinnati Bengals have waived both Rashad Jeanty and Antonio Bryant, due to injuries. Jeanty failed a team physical, so his contract was terminated.

Bryant, on the other hand, had received a four year, $28 million contract, with $8 million of that guaranteed. 

The Bengals are still on the hook for that money, even though Bengals fans will never see Bryant play a game in the Orange and Black.