Originally posted on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 1/3/12

Safety Ryan Clark #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Karl Walter/Getty Images)

In 2007, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark suffered one of the NFL’s largest health scares of the last decade. The fallout is still being felt today.

Four years ago, playing in the high altitude in Denver, Clark had to be rushed to the hospital because his spleen was shutting down. Clark’s sickle cell trait and Denver’s high altitude caused the crisis, and ultimately the safety lost his spleen, gall bladder, and 30 pounds due to the ordeal.

This weekend would mark the third time since then that the Steelers have played the Broncos in Denver. Every time, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has sat an otherwise healthy Clark, even when doctors have cleared Clark to play.

Today, Tomlin informed Clark that a playoff game doesn’t make a difference. Calling it an “easy decision,” Tomlin informed Clark that he will sit.

“I met with Ryan Clark and have informed him I am not going to allow him to play in this game,” Tomlin said.

Ryan Mundy, a third-year Steeler with only two career starts but over 90 career tackles, will start in Clark’s place.

As unbiased, unselfishly, and objectively as a Broncos fan can muster: kudos to Tomlin for taking care of his player first. And as Florio points out, if you’re going to be thin in the secondary, it might as well be against the Broncos.

/ducks for cover

Tomlin informs Ryan Clark he won’t face Broncos [ProFootballTalk]


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