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Big Ben anticipates Mike Wallace's return to Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't need Mike Wallace in Saturday's 38-7 preseason romp over the Buffalo Bills, but the team's best wide receiver won't be a luxury come September.

Wallace informed teammates that he plans to sign his restricted free-agent tender this weekend, and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported this week. Roethlisberger on Saturday sounded all but certain about Wallace's return.

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"We're excited to get Mike back. I talk to him all the time, and you know he's one of us," Roethlisberger told and NFL Network's Kimberly Jones during halftime of Saturday's game. "He's one of our boys, we are like family. So when he gets back, we are going to be excited."

"In a day or two?" Jones asked.

"I hope so," Roethlisberger said.

With the team's regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos just two weeks away, Wallace has taken his holdout to the brink. It hasn't resulted in the big-money, long-term contract he hoped for, which is no surprise.

The Steelers have voiced their unwillingness to negotiate new deals with holdouts. Playing good soldier worked for Antonio Brown, and it might be Wallace's best chance for a long-term contract.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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