Blog Entry

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

Posted on: January 3, 2012 12:59 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 1:05 pm
 
Pittsburgh will be short-handed in the secondary when they face Denver Sunday. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The Steelers will face the Broncos in the wild-card round Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET and they'll do it without two of their best players. Running back Rashard Mendenhall tore his ACL against the Browns in Week 17 and his season is over. Safety Ryan Clark is healthy, at least as sea level, but a sickle-cell trait that is triggered at high altitudes will keep him on the bench in Denver (elevation 5,280 feet).

According to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder, head coach Mike Tomlin said during his Tuesday press conference that playing Clark wasn’t worth the risk, especially since Clark lost a spleen and gall bladder after playing in Denver in 2007.

Pittsburgh's coach called it an "easy decision," adding “I met with Ryan Clark yesterday and informed him I’m not going to let him play for obvious reasons. It is a big game for us, but it is a game. We’ll keep it in perspective.”

Clark tweeted Tuesday: "Well I guess we all know now. I will not be playing. Glad that it's out now. So no more questions to ask. Thanks for your concern!"

Ryan Mundy, the team's 2008 sixth-round pick out of West Virginia, is expected to fill in for Clark. Mundy has two career starts, both coming in 2010 filling in for an injured Troy Polamalu. He has one career interception, which came in Week 12 against the Chiefs, as well as a 33-yard reception on a fake punt earlier this season against the Titans.

The Steelers traveled to Denver for a 2010 preseason game and Clark didn't play then, either. He worked out on the field before kickoff without incident but the fear of damage to his brain and/or heart clearly wasn't worth the potential consequences.

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Comments

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:28 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

I'm not sold on the Steelers winning this game.  Losing Clark is tough but the loss of Mendenhall is bigger than I think most realize.  This coupled with the dinged up offensive line and Big Ben limping around.  The Steelers are tough no doubt but the Broncos offense just pounds and pounds and pounds.  A few good passes by Tim Tebow and this could be a surprise.  With Tebow you learn to expect the unexpected. 




Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:09 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

This might not be popular, but they need to sit Ben Roethlisberger at Denver.  Charlie Batch can beat the Broncos with that team.  I'd much rather have a healthy Ben to face Ravens or Patriots.  I love Tim Tebow, and would have wanted to see the Broncos beat any other team, but I'm sorry, they just have no chance against the Steelers, even at Denver.  So....sit Ben.  A gimpy Ben isn't going to beat the elite teams.



Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:09 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

This might not be popular, but they need to sit Ben Roethlisberger at Denver.  Charlie Batch can beat the Broncos with that team.  I'd much rather have a healthy Ben to face Ravens or Patriots.  I love Tim Tebow, and would have wanted to see the Broncos beat any other team, but I'm sorry, they just have no chance against the Steelers, even at Denver.  So....sit Ben.  A gimpy Ben isn't going to beat the elite teams.



Since: Mar 24, 2010
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:59 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

This decision was a no-brainer. Tomlin was right when he said that it's a game. Before everyone commends the Steelers for making a normal decision, I think it's best to remember that any right thinking coach and management would put a player's health before a game. Plus the fact that the game in question is against the Broncos. The Steelers should rest the remainder of the defensive starters. they will still win the game and be rested for Baltimore.



Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:57 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

Couldn't he just walk across the field prior to the game and ask Tebow to heal him?

 



No but he could ask jesus for a favor. I think he is running out of them though. 



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:26 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

As a Bronco fan it's good that they won't have to face Clark, but I like his play and wouldn't have minded seeing him in the game.
But after what he went through the last time, there is just no reason to play him. No football game is worth the man's life. And they could put a high schooler back there to replace him and still hold the Broncos to zero points, so why not rest him. They will likely have to play the Ravens next week so he'd even get some rest.



Since: Nov 11, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:08 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

Why doesn't Tomlin just forfeit the game?



Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:08 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

"Some folks called it a sickle cell, I calls it Kaiser cell.......Could you make me some biscuits with mustard. Hmmmm-mmmmm."


leave Caca alone, his father was murdered years ago by a football player with sickle cell. 



Since: Jan 20, 2010
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:00 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

jmartin34 didn't read very carefully.  The article doesn't say Clark and Mendenhall are their "2 best players".  It says "2 of their best players".  And that's true.  Don't be so quick to criticize!



Since: Jan 13, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:55 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

caca, you are a true richard cranium


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