Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s first offensive series after returning from an NFL-imposed four-game suspension ended with an interception after his eighth play from scrimmage.
Greeted by cheers and a standing ovation from the Heinz Field crowd moments before kickoff against the visiting Browns, Roethlisberger and the Steelers got the ball at their own 35-yard line thanks to an interception by Cleveland rookie quarterback Colt McCoy, who was making his first NFL start.
Pittsburgh took advantage of a 26-yard pass interference call on Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown and drove to the Cleveland 14-yard line. But Roethlisberger’s short right-side pass to receiver Mike Wallace became cornerback Joe Haden’s first career interception.
Haden returned the pick 62 yards, setting up a 39-yard field goal with 1:51 remaining in the opening quarter.
Regardless, Roethlisberger’s return was met with enthusiasm by Steelers fans, who applauded wildly as the two-time Super Bowl –winning passer flashed a No.1 gesture as he ran onto the field with the rest of the offensive starters.
Roethlisberger was suspended the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.