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Roethlisberger is the first player suspended by Goodell under the conduct policy who hasn't been arrested or charged with a crime. When he handed down the penalty, Goodell cited a "pattern of behavior" that gave him the right to impose discipline even though no law was broken.
Roethlisberger also is being sued by a woman who accused him of raping her at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino in 2008. He denied the allegation and wasn't charged.
Sitting out all six games would cost the two-time Super Bowl winner an estimated $2.8 million of his $102 million total contract.
In Roethlisberger's absence, the Steelers have used Byron Leftwich as the first-string quarterback in practices. Leftwich likely will be the starter for Pittsburgh in its season opener against Atlanta.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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