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Big Ben, Goodell to meet Friday

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after the team's final preseason game to see if his suspension will be reduced from six games to four.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reports that the meeting will take place Friday, and it is widely assumed within the Pittsburgh organization and around the league that the suspension will be reduced to four games.

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

"The commissioner has stated that he would make his decision prior to the start of the regular season and that he would meet with Ben again as part of the process," Aiello told The Associated Press.

Roethlisberger was suspended for six games after being accused of sexually assaulting a Georgia college student in March. He was not criminally charged in the case.

If Roethlisberger's suspension is reduced to four games, he'll be back for their game against Cleveland on Oct. 17.

Otherwise, he wouldn't be back until the Steelers play at New Orleans on Halloween night.

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-yard pass to wide receiver 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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