EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Playing for the first time since being suspended by the league for violating its personal conduct policy, Ben Roethlisberger started against the Giants on Saturday and went 6-of-8 for 76 yards in the Steelers' 24-17 victory.
Roethlisberger threw an interception on the second of his three series before giving way to Byron Leftwich with 7:09 left in the first half.
Roethlisberger's best series was his last, when he led the Steelers on a 13-play, 58-yard drive over 7:05 capped by Jeff Reed's 26-yard field goal. Roethlisberger hit consecutive passes of 13 yards to tight end Heath Miller and 17 yards to Antwaan Randle-El to get Pittsburgh a first and goal.
He completed an 8-yard pass to Miller on the Steelers' second play and hit Miller for 12 yards on the next play. The drive bogged down after that.
The two-time Super Bowl champion tried to throw deep to Mike Wallace on the second drive but was intercepted by cornerback Corey Webster.
The quarterback was suspended for six games (though it could be reduced to four) without pay April 21 by commissioner Roger Goodell after a woman accused him of sexual assault in Milledgeville, Ga. No charges were filed.
Leftwich, expected to start the opener, went 3-of-6 for 95 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown to Wallace.
Injured Tebow sits out
DENVER — The Broncos played it safe with Tim Tebow's bruised ribs, resting the rookie quarterback against the Lions.
The former Gator missed two days of practice after bruising his ribs on the final play of last week's game against the Bengals. Tebow was hit on his left side as he scrambled into the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown.
Favre to start: Five days after returning, Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is set to start tonight against the 49ers (8, Ch. 8). Coach Brad Childress said he will play a series or two, ideally taking 10 snaps. Last year, Favre arrived three days before the second preseason game and took seven snaps (four passes). In addition, NBC's Al Michaels is scheduled to interview Favre at halftime.
Harvin status: Vikings receiver Percy Harvin, hospitalized Thursday because of a migraine, will see a specialist this week, Childress said. Childress added he's optimistic the ex-Gator will return to practice this week.
Bears: Linebacker Brian Urlacher, who played just one game last season because of a dislocated right wrist, hurt his calf during the first series against the Raiders and did not return. His status was not available.
Bills: Tight end Derek Schouman will miss 3-6 weeks with a knee injury sustained Thursday against the Colts. Details of the injury, which came a day before fellow tight end Shawn Nelson was suspended four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, were not disclosed.
Chargers: Offensive tackle Tra Thomas retired. Thomas, 35, was signed after it became apparent starter Marcus McNeill, seeking a long-term deal, would hold out. But Thomas, the 11th overall pick in 1998 who played for the Eagles from 1998 to 2008 and Jaguars last season, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Aug. 3. San Diego put McNeill, a two-time Pro Bowl pick, on the exempt list Friday. So even if he ended his holdout, he will be suspended for three games. General manager A.J. Smith didn't return a call seeking comment.
Falcons: Backup receiver Kerry Meier, a fifth-round pick in April, is out for the season with an injured right knee sustained Thursday against the Patriots. Details of the injury were not disclosed.
Rams: Quarterback A.J. Feeley, set to be the starter until rookie Sam Bradford is ready, hurt his right thumb on a hit by Browns linebacker Chris Gocong. He stayed in the game (throwing a touchdown soon after) before leaving. Details of the injury were not disclosed, and his status had not been determined.