Originally posted on Bleed Black & Gold  |  Last updated 1/1/12

The Steelers could be heading into their first playoff game a man down already.  Steelers Safety Ryan Clark may not go against the Broncos due to his sickle cell trait.  It could keep Clark on the sidelines and maybe even back in Pittsburgh not even traveling with the team.

The last time Clark played in Denver the trait acted up.  This altitude in Mile High Stadium caused a bad reaction and Clark had to be rushed to the hospital to have his gall bladder and spleen removed.  The last time the Steelers went to Denver Clark was left home as his health was more important then football.  That was a regular season game.  This is a playoff game.  I still say his health is more important.

The Steelers will have Ryan Mundy fill in for Clark if he can not go.  This is a big loss as Clark has played his best this season since becoming a Steeler.  He led the team in tackles with 100.  Clark will be missed but not as much as you may think.  If we were playing anyone else and I mean anyone else I would be more worried.  We are playing Tim Tebow though who can not throw the ball well.  Mundy will be more then good enough in coverage and plays well against the run.  While Clark will be missed the Broncos do not pose as big of a problem to our pass defense.

I for one hope that Clark does not play this week.  It is a huge game but his health is more important.  Even if he is cleared by doctors do not be shocked if Mike Tomlin and the Rooney’s tell him to stay home for the week.

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