Ben Roethlisberger sits in Heinz return

Updated: August 15, 2010, 3:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger couldn't have had a much quieter return to Heinz Field.

Roethlisberger, wearing a Steelers uniform for the first time since drawing a six-game suspension for his off-field behavior, did not play in the first half of Pittsburgh's exhibition game against Detroit on Saturday night.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin almost never plays regulars with backups, so Roethlisberger was not expected to take the field in a game delayed 1 hour, 13 minutes by lightning and heavy rain during the second quarter.

"With the number of snaps we anticipated the first offense running, it just wasn't appropriate to play him," Tomlin said after Pittsburgh's 23-7 win. "He wanted to play. He's had an awesome training camp."

Byron Leftwich was expected to play eight to 12 snaps, but instead played nearly twice that as Tomlin apparently was displeased with the offense's first two series. Two running backs fumbled, Leftwich was sacked for 8 yards and he unintentionally spiked a pass as the starters gained only 16 yards in 12 plays.

"We weren't really clicking," Leftwich said. "We did some things not so good, but we'll work on it."

Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault, but not charged, following a March night of drinking in a Georgia bar.

There were no signs or other displays of anti-Roethlisberger sentiment inside the stadium.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ALSO SEE