As expected, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reduced Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension to four games.
Jason La Canfora of NFL Network was the first to report that Goodell reduced the suspension, after Roethlisberger met with Goodell today. The NFL confirmed that the suspension will be four games.
Roethlisberger was suspended under the league’s personal conduct policy this offseason after a league review of his behavior following a sexual assault accusation in March. Goodell had previously said Roethlisberger would have his suspension reduced from six to four games if he stayed out of trouble and followed a counseling program put forth by the league, and more recently Goodell said Roethlisberger had done everything asked of him and more.
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.
“You have told me and the Steelers that you are committed to making better decisions,” Goodell said in a letter to Roethlisberger, according to the league’s press release. “Your actions over the past several months have been consistent with that promise and you must continue to honor that commitment.”
Roethlisberger will have to stay away from the team for the first four weeks of the regular season. He can return Week Five, which is the Steelers’ bye week, and then play for the first time on October 17 against the Cleveland Browns.