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Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense6th126.1 (6th)258.8 (13th)
Defense23rd93.0 (6th)278.4 (28th)

Steelers report: Inside slant

The Sports Xchange
Inside slant · Strategy and personnel · Notes, quotes

The Steelers returned Monday after not practicing for a week, and the case of Ryan Clark remained front and center for them.

A decision on Clark won't be rendered until later in the week, as he and coach Mike Tomlin weigh their options. Clark, the starting free safety, lost his spleen and gall bladder the last time he played in Denver, in 2007. The combination of having sickle cell and exerting himself in the high altitude was blamed for a bad blood reaction that caused his physical problems.

"The decision lies with he and myself," Tomlin said. "His physical health, his well being, of course, is paramount. We're going to attempt to do what's right, we're going to weigh all our options, and we're going to come to a decision here at some point later this week. Really hadn't put a timetable on it at this point."

If Clark does not play, veteran Tyrone Carter likely would replace him, although Ryan Mundy, playing in his first NFL season, also is a possibility.

Tomlin and Clark met with a team of doctors Thursday.

"He's received medical clearance to play in this football game," Tomlin said.

Clark has been an important component to the Steelers defense since he arrived in 2006 as a free agent from the Redskins. He not only is he third on the team with 44 tackles, but he helps quarterback the defense along with linebacker James Farrior.

His teammates say they do not blame Clark if he does not play in Denver on Monday night.

"I know he wants to be out there, but life is way more precious than football," receiver Hines Ward said. "When football ends, you can still go on and have a productive life."

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