If the final two weeks of the NFL season go more or less as expected, the Broncos will be the No. 4 seed in the AFC and the Steelers will be the No. 5 seed, which would mean Pittsburgh at Denver in the wild card round.
And that may mean the Steelers will have to play without starting safety Ryan Clark.
In 2007, Clark got very ill after playing at Denver, reportedly because of a medical condition affected by the altitude. In 2009, when the Steelers played at the Broncos, Clark was held out, although he said he would have played if Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had let him. The 2009 game at Denver was the only game in the last three seasons that Clark has missed.
Neither the Steelers nor Clark has said whether he’ll play this time around at Denver, but if Tomlin wouldn’t let Clark play in Denver two years ago, he may insist on Clark sitting out again this time around. It’s a situation that bears watching if the Steelers end up at Denver in the first weekend of the playoffs.