Ben Roethlisberger to face commish

Updated: August 30, 2010, 12:40 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is scheduled to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell in New York on Friday, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed on Sunday night that the two will meet soon but he declined to say when or where the meeting would take place.

Goodell said earlier this month that he will meet with Roethlisberger before the regular season starts in September and determine whether to reduce the six-game suspension to four games.

Roethlisberger was not charged following an accusation that he sexually assaulted a Georgia college student, but was suspended for violating the NFL personal conduct policy.

Goodell praised Roethlisberger for the way he's reshaping his life after meeting with the quarterback in early August and said the NFL would continue to monitor his progress before making a final decision on how long the suspension would be.

A reduction would allow Roethlisberger to play Oct. 17 at home against Cleveland rather than Oct. 31 at New Orleans.

"I'm very encouraged by what he's doing," Goodell said. "I'll take the period of time that I have before making the decision and make it probably right before the regular season."

Asked what the league still needs to see, Goodell said, "He's got to work through the program that's designed for him to help him. A lot of that is confidential, but he's done it and he's done it with enthusiasm. I think that's a good thing."

Goodell was vague when asked several times if Roethlisberger's suspension could be reduced even further. Later, league officials clarified that the commissioner's April 21 ruling specified a minimum of four games.

Either way, the Steelers will know before their opener against Atlanta on Sept. 12 how long they'll be without their two-time Super Bowl winning QB.

Roethlisberger didn't play very long in the Steelers' game at Denver on Sunday night, giving way to Dennis Dixon after taking 11 snaps in the first quarter.

Roethlisberger was 4 for 6 for 67 yards, including a 47-yarder to Mike Wallace.

After he was pulled, Dixon got his first significant playing time with the starters. Dixon has started only one NFL game, and he is expected to be Byron Leftwich's backup when the season starts and Roethlisberger's suspension begins.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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