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Playoff game in Denver could mean Steelers won’t have Ryan Clark

Ryan Clark AP

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.

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84 Responses to “Playoff game in Denver could mean Steelers won’t have Ryan Clark”
  1. steelcitymasterrace says: Dec 22, 2011 5:45 PM

    What a crock. They should move the game to a nuetral site if this is the advantage Denver needs to take.

  2. wewantmoretebowandfavrearticles says: Dec 22, 2011 5:46 PM

    Even if Clark wants to play, the Steelers should not let him play under any circumstances. He almost died last time he played in Denver and that’s no exaggeration. Life is more important than football and it’s simply not worth having a player risk his life to increase your chances of winning.

  3. rayriceisnice says: Dec 22, 2011 5:48 PM

    Is this steeler fan for real?

  4. sowcrates says: Dec 22, 2011 5:48 PM

    …limit his snaps?

    Seems like a fairly easy fix

  5. bigjdve says: Dec 22, 2011 5:48 PM

    Denver plays all of their games there, you don’t move a game because 1 player on the other team can’t play there.

    That isn’t fair to the other 10 teams that played there through the preseason and regular season.

    The steelers can go without Clark if his health won’t permit. Remember if the Steelers hadn’t lost some of their games like either or both of their choke fests with the Ravens it wouldn’t be an issue.

  6. azbroncos says: Dec 22, 2011 5:49 PM

    steelcitymasterrace says:
    Dec 22, 2011 5:45 PM
    What a crock. They should move the game to a nuetral site if this is the advantage Denver needs to take.

    Ya thats terrible! A home team with a HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE!! Why would anyone want that lol what a joke of a comment

  7. tfbuckfutter says: Dec 22, 2011 5:49 PM

    Doesn’t matter.

    The Chargers are going to take the division.

    (Not a Chargers fan, so save the hate….not even a fan of any AFC We(ake)st team.

  8. jtbaudendistel says: Dec 22, 2011 5:50 PM

    People get a little sick when they get high.

  9. fin72 says: Dec 22, 2011 5:51 PM

    If they let him play, Tomlin might say after the game that he’s suffering from “death-like symptoms”.

  10. steelhammer92 says: Dec 22, 2011 5:54 PM

    steelcitymasterrace, I hope you are just being sarcastic or horribly drunk.

  11. jpost4887 says: Dec 22, 2011 5:56 PM

    So I guess this means Ryan Clark won’t ever be suited up as a Bronco at any time in the future?

  12. tampajoey says: Dec 22, 2011 5:57 PM

    Sucks to need air.

  13. chris6523 says: Dec 22, 2011 5:59 PM

    If they let him play, Tomlin might say after the game that he’s suffering from “death-like symptoms”.

    ________________________________

    If there is a cash award for the best post of the year, I nominate this one.

  14. toegoat says: Dec 22, 2011 5:59 PM

    Although it is likely that this will be a playoff matchup, nothing is set in stone still 2 weeks left. If we do have to go to Denver, Ryan Clark will NOT play that is certain. He literally almost died there.

  15. travisblink619 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:02 PM

    Wow, the Steelers are already coming up with excuses for when they lose to Jesus Tebow. As if Roethlisberger’s piss poor acting job over his ankle wasn’t enough.

  16. iplaybad says: Dec 22, 2011 6:03 PM

    If the Broncos end up playing Pittsburgh, the stills better get Big Ben’s ankle healthy. Otherwise, he will be facing the pressure of VON DOOOOOOOM!

  17. trollhammer20 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:04 PM

    That’s a pretty bizarre condition. Kinda glad he found out about it during a football game, and not road-tripping along I-70 at 75 mph.

  18. bcdc26 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:05 PM

    You’re right, they should move it to a neutral site because it’s unfair. While they’re at it they need to make sure that Ben’s ankle is 100% healthy because it wouldn’t be fair if they didn’t have him. Oh and if they could make sure that all the players are equally as fast, strong and athletic as one another they need to do that too, because if you had one player that was faster than another, that would be unfair. And Jesus likes Tebow too much so he can’t play, we don’t want that Jesus picking favorites and cheating, that would be unfair.

  19. thevoiceofreason1 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:06 PM

    Pretty sure that this Steelers fan doesn’t know what “altitude” means. #fail

  20. axlviking says: Dec 22, 2011 6:06 PM

    I don’t get why he can’t play…I mean seriously, if he gets close to dying, Timmy can save him.

  21. donz0 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:07 PM

    And they’ll only have a small percentage of Big Ben.

  22. govtminion says: Dec 22, 2011 6:08 PM

    steelcitymasterrace says: Dec 22, 2011 5:45 PM

    What a crock. They should move the game to a nuetral site if this is the advantage Denver needs to take.
    _____________________

    This is officially the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on this site. I’m assuming this was meant as absurd humor, right? You’re not dumb enough to actually be demanding this?

  23. kyleortonsarm says: Dec 22, 2011 6:13 PM

    So playing in Denver makes this guy sick but playing on a team that harbors multiple known criminal offenders who attack women is just fine? I can’t believe the entire organization isn’t sick.

  24. sundog05 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:14 PM

    As a Broncos fan, I’ll believe Denver is in the playoffs when they make the playoffs.

  25. noeffinway says: Dec 22, 2011 6:17 PM

    The comment of the week?

    bcdc26 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:05 PM
    “You’re right, they should move it to a neutral site because it’s unfair. While they’re at it they need to make sure that Ben’s ankle is 100% healthy because it wouldn’t be fair if they didn’t have him. Oh and if they could make sure that all the players are equally as fast, strong and athletic as one another they need to do that too, because if you had one player that was faster than another, that would be unfair. And Jesus likes Tebow too much so he can’t play, we don’t want that Jesus picking favorites and cheating, that would be unfair.”

  26. darthvincent says: Dec 22, 2011 6:19 PM

    if the Steelers are trying to avoid the “death-like symptoms” for Ryan Clark then they should just hook him up to an Oxygen Mask…

  27. joeboratko says: Dec 22, 2011 6:22 PM

    There is more info that this post is missing.

    Ryan had his gall bladder and spleen removed. There have been numerous quoted by Clark saying doctors assured him the problem was fixed.

    He also traved with Pittsburgh the last time they played there and went through a full workout and was deemed fit to play. Tomlin held him out.

    I’m almost certain i read a couple of weeks ago with Clark saying if the Steelers play in Denver in the playoffs he is gonna play.

  28. bozosforall says: Dec 22, 2011 6:26 PM

    tfbuckfutter says:
    Dec 22, 2011 5:49 PM
    Doesn’t matter.

    The Chargers are going to take the division.

    (Not a Chargers fan, so save the hate….not even a fan of any AFC We(ake)st team.

    __
    Lame comment from a Gaytriots fan.

  29. stairwayto7 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:29 PM

    Does it matter? Once Harrison nails Tebow he is done! Pitt 27 Broncan’t 10!

  30. jbaxt says: Dec 22, 2011 6:30 PM

    Who is the clown determining what posts get posted? Sorry for making fun of your hypothetical game article…

  31. firegoodell says: Dec 22, 2011 6:31 PM

    joeboratko got it right….do a little research before posting complete and utter nonsense…In 2007 Clark had both his gall bladder and spleen removed – these were the organs affected in 2007. In 2009 he was held out of the game but he did all pregame warmups and other drills and worked out while being monitored by medical staff and tests being run. Everything came back normal in 2009. This is just another attempt by this site to hate on the Steelers….I mean would it be to much to ask for someone that is writing for the site to do a little research before posting something this incomplete…..

  32. souldogdave says: Dec 22, 2011 6:33 PM

    Sickle cell anemia is serious business.Does Denver have the wildcard locked?

  33. roastbeefsandwich says: Dec 22, 2011 6:34 PM

    Oxygen is like sex. It’s only important if you’re not getting any.

  34. milesrunner262 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:36 PM

    Seems like I remember reading that an article said he has a mild form of sickle cell disease. I remember when this came up in 09.

  35. blackqbwhiterb says: Dec 22, 2011 6:40 PM

    If he can’t ,he can’t just like any injured guy. Team has to play without him. Just the same, I wish the Redskins never let him go. He’s been great in Pitt for a long time….

  36. ravensfan4life52 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:43 PM

    I don’t care if he plays or not the Steelers better win! I want the pleasure of watching my Ravens crush the Steelers at the Bank in the playoffs!

  37. mikebinrookline says: Dec 22, 2011 6:46 PM

    trollhammer20 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:04 PM

    That’s a pretty bizarre condition. Kinda glad he found out about it during a football game, and not road-tripping along I-70 at 75 mph
    —————————————–

    I don’t get that comment. You don’t think there is an enormous difference between playing football at high altitudes vs. driving in a car at similar levels? Unless I’m not getting the joke.

  38. goldrush36 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:47 PM

    steelcitymasterrace says: Dec 22, 2011 5:45 PM

    What a crock. They should move the game to a nuetral site if this is the advantage Denver needs to take.
    ________________________________________

    Wow this is precisely the type of lame sorry excuse I would expect from steelersownyou. Some of you guys really make the fanbase look pathetic

  39. mattlion says: Dec 22, 2011 6:49 PM

    He won’t have much to do if he plays. Since Denver mostly runs the ball, there will be very few defenseless receivers for Clark to line up and take big cheap shots at.

  40. discosucs2005 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:50 PM

    Just out of curiosity, how does he fly? I know he wouldn’t be the first player or coach to not be able to fly and there are ways around it, but I think it would have come up if he didn’t fly at all.

  41. ravenator says: Dec 22, 2011 6:50 PM

    They should sit Ryan Clark based on his play, not his medical condition. He’s the most overrated safety in the league. Pittsburgh would be better off without him.

  42. tyler2585 says: Dec 22, 2011 6:52 PM

    “And they’ll only have a small percentage of Big Ben.”

    That was still too much of Ben in Reno and Georgia

  43. dirtyjersey9er says: Dec 22, 2011 6:56 PM

    @steelcitymasterrace

    So let me get this straight. The teams who win divisions having home games in the post season has gone off for years without a hitch and no complaints. But because your team might be missing 1 player due to a coaches decision due to an ailment said player has you want the NFL to change the entire playoff structure just for your team? I’ve seen some of the arrogant section of Steelers fans post here but even they would tell you to calm down and stop making them look bad.

    Oh and 20-3.

  44. nineroutsider says: Dec 22, 2011 6:58 PM

    steelcitymasterrace says: Dec 22, 2011 5:45 PM

    What a crock. They should move the game to a nuetral site if this is the advantage Denver needs to take.
    —————————————————————-
    This is why everyone on PFT should pile on Steeler fans whenever possible. This is quite possibly the stupidest comment that has ever been pecked on a keyboard.

    Steeler fans deserve at least one solid decade of horrible football just to get humbled. It will happen, it happens to every team sooner or later. You’re just one dumb exec away from bad draft picks and free agent signings…

  45. canadianvikingfaniii says: Dec 22, 2011 7:00 PM

    steelcitymasterrace says:
    Dec 22, 2011 5:45 PM
    What a crock. They should move the game to a nuetral site if this is the advantage Denver needs to take.
    —————————-
    Like James Harrison’s need to go for kill shots on opposing players because he and his buddies cannot cover.

  46. sbxxix says: Dec 22, 2011 7:01 PM

    Not gonna happen. Broncos will choke and will not make the playoffs

  47. commandercornpone says: Dec 22, 2011 7:08 PM

    and the steelers arent happy about the game venue unless most of the fans in the stands have little towels.

  48. mvpolamalu says: Dec 22, 2011 7:13 PM

    @kyleortonsarm
    O really? Just so you know, nobody on the steelers has ever been conviicted. Being arrested is the only thing you have on him, and that was 3 years ago!

  49. thefiesty1 says: Dec 22, 2011 7:13 PM

    If he traveled to Denver by Bus or some other ground transportation the sickle cell won’t trigger in as quickly as a sudden change it altitude. That happened when we chaperoned some high school kids on two occasions a few years ago. That happened to one boy flying and couldn’t perform with the group. A couple of years later his brother went there by bus and still got sick but not near as bad as his brother the first trip. Sickle cell anemia is not fun to deal with. Too bad for the Steelers if Denver makes it to the playoffs.

  50. kwalk4780 says: Dec 22, 2011 7:14 PM

    Big Ben, Hines Ward would play. Tough it out.

  51. bradyisbetterthanrodgers says: Dec 22, 2011 7:25 PM

    iplaybad

    was VONDOOM even playing Sunday?? I didn’t even hear his name called once

  52. grogansheroes says: Dec 22, 2011 7:25 PM

    steelcitymasterrace says:
    Dec 22, 2011 5:45 PM
    What a crock. They should move the game to a nuetral site if this is the advantage Denver needs to take.

    ________________________________
    Kind of takes all the meaning out of your user name, now doesn’t it Chip?

  53. titsburgfeelers says: Dec 22, 2011 7:29 PM

    HahahahhahahahA

  54. snnyjcbs says: Dec 22, 2011 7:35 PM

    What game is this CLOWN talking about? Denver goes 8-8 and does not make the Playoffs. Where do they find these Kids they have writing on sports today.

  55. fdsman1958 says: Dec 22, 2011 7:49 PM

    What a human being. Putting a high game above a human life, that’s just wrong.

  56. smgeorge99 says: Dec 22, 2011 8:00 PM

    steelcitymasterrace says: Dec 22, 2011 5:45 PM

    What a crock. They should move the game to a nuetral site if this is the advantage Denver needs to take.

    ====================================

    Most.ignorant.post.ever.

    I think this is a fake Steeler fan just trying to stir up trouble so all the haters can come out and get all self-righteous on the Steeler fans. And they all took the bait right on cue.

  57. mostlombardisintheleague says: Dec 22, 2011 8:17 PM

    Tebow will choke in the playoffs (if he makes it), just like Flacco.

  58. firethorn1001 says: Dec 22, 2011 8:56 PM

    What a crock. They should move the game to a nuetral site if this is the advantage Denver needs to take.
    _________________________________

    Neutral site didn’t help you much in the Super Bowl last year.

  59. atwatercrushesokoye says: Dec 22, 2011 9:14 PM

    I love reading comments from Patriots fans talking big, enjoy it now fellas cause January 15 or 16th your season will end when some team comes in and punks you in your stadium…again.

    The Patriots and Belichick are getting credit now for what they did 7-10 years ago, this year they’re not that good and it’ll be fun to once again watch them be exposed!

  60. heisthejuan says: Dec 22, 2011 9:40 PM

    Since the Steelers don’t really care about the long term health of their players, I bet he’d play.

  61. franknunley57 says: Dec 22, 2011 9:48 PM

    @mostlombardisintheleague :

    catchy name,but only 3rd best winning %. you also lost twice. GB lost once. SF undefeated!

  62. kmkhaine says: Dec 22, 2011 9:54 PM

    Don’t be silly, most steeler ‘fans’ are fake. Or bandwagoneers.

    I’ve been predicting for a long while. Pitt goes to Denver, gets worked. Usual 4qt comeback. Apologists make excuses as to who the worlds best team didn’t win (mostly in the press) and then Denver gets pummeled by a good, disciplined D in Baltimore.

    Pit is good but they are not unlike a rabid dog lashing out.
    Oh yeah, Harrison will be suspended for 4 games beginning next year after some other cheap shot he takes. He still whines and says he didn’t do anything wrong and makes the cover of inmates monthly in the offseason.

  63. descendency says: Dec 22, 2011 9:57 PM

    James Harrison wants the Broncos fined for playing at too high of an altitude.

  64. turdfurgerson68 says: Dec 22, 2011 10:00 PM

    Man up…you sissy!!!

  65. descendency says: Dec 22, 2011 10:03 PM

    @atwatercrushesokoye

    7-10 years ago, like 2007 when they won their last playoff games.

  66. koenig61 says: Dec 22, 2011 10:13 PM

    This site should be ashamed of itself. It deletes and censors all sorts of posts, yet it allows people to post morbid comments about a real life situation, that almost killed this man?

    Whats funny about “death like symptoms” This man almost died, and the moderators of this site allow posts such as this, but delete and censor any posts that disagree with this sites head lawyer?

    I realize the joke is supposed to be about Tomlin using the phrase “concussion like symptoms”, however the NFL itself refers to it exactly the same way. You dont call it a concussion until the player has been fully examined, and has undergone tests over the next few days to compare his reactions to his baseline tests done at the beginning of every year.

    The key thing is to not allow a player back into the game once they display “concussion like symptoms” the way the steelers always have, and not let the player back into the game the way the Browns did. Of course this Professional football tabloid for some reason doesnt seem as fanatical about ranting against the browns the same way they did against the steelers.

  67. koenig61 says: Dec 22, 2011 10:26 PM

    Also if there is one person on this site who actually believes that first post by steelermasterrace was from a real steeler fan you are more gullible for believing that than for believing half of the drivel spewed in the articles posted here. Do yourself a favor do some research before you comment on Clark and sickle cell.

    Obviously this person created a name to make everyone think he was a steeler fan. Even if this person were a steeler fan, anyone who would even make that comment about moving a home playoff game, isnt even a football fan, but then you turn around and treat his post as if he had some validity to his statement. Either way he had an awful lot of people commenting over nothing. Either you were duped by a person posing as another teams fan, or you were duped into responding to a person who knows nothing about football.

    Still disapointed that some of you make fun of a person possibly dying. Do some soul searching people. You need it. And I’m not talking just about the jokes about steeler players dying, its the same for any comments about a player dying. The same comments that are also made about Ray Lewis, Tom Brady, Aaron rodgers etc. You people are very sick.

  68. mr86ism says: Dec 22, 2011 10:49 PM

    @kyleortansarm

    hahahahahahha so this is the second response to one of your posts this week.i love your genuine hate for the franchise.hahaha i bet you pound out your hate with a semi-massive erection hahaha.really guy, whats the deal?

  69. jackblackshairyback says: Dec 22, 2011 10:53 PM

    discosucs2005…..planes are pressurized. The air in Denver is not.

  70. youreinsteelercountry says: Dec 22, 2011 10:57 PM

    My money is on Ryan Clark playing

    The Lunatic blog is back!

    Consistency In Officiating – It’s Not That Tall An Order!

    http://youreinsteelercountry.com/index.php/blogs/23/26/consistency-in-officiating-it

  71. atwatercrushesokoye says: Dec 22, 2011 11:35 PM

    descendency: I’m pretty sure no one in New England wants to remember 2007 where they went 18-1* and had that little Spygate thing. And while they won a couple playoff games that year they also lost the last game they played in that season.

    For a “dynasty” that the Pats fans and national media want to believe they still are, losing in the Super Bowl (to a huge underdog) isn’t a good season. For a true dynasty you measure championships, which the Patriots haven’t won since 2004…7 years ago! The dynasty is dead, and Belichik is proving he’s not the true genius many claim he is based on his MANY personnel and draft decisions the past few years. He’s becoming Mike Shanahan 2.0.

  72. iplaybad says: Dec 22, 2011 11:52 PM

    The Patriots have better Tackles than the Steelers and a healthier QB. If you thought Aldon Smith caused havoc Monday night, expect more destruction from Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller aka VonDoom (presuming the Broncos play the Steelers).

    Feel free to disagree but enjoy being wrong.

  73. heisthejuan says: Dec 23, 2011 12:02 AM

    @koenig61

    Does it hurt when you fall off your high horse?

  74. kinguga says: Dec 23, 2011 12:34 AM

    I’m sure Tebow would be willing to pray for a wall of protection to surround Ryan Clark.

  75. barroomhero80 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:37 AM

    does not matter the broncos aint getting out of the first round. and no im not a fan of either team. just facts

  76. fieldingfowler says: Dec 23, 2011 3:10 AM

    What is lost in all this is why Clark got sick last time. I thought I read the high altitude triggered something because he was already sick at the time, and it became exaggerated. When Clark was with the Redskins, he played in Denver without any issues.

  77. BernardPollardIsAnAss says: Dec 23, 2011 7:52 AM

    Ryan Clark is a dirty player. The less the league sees of him the better.

  78. jjackwagon says: Dec 23, 2011 8:10 AM

    @ AtwatercrushesOkoye

    The Patriots and Belichick are getting credit now for what they did 7-10 years ago, this year they’re not that good and it’ll be fun to once again watch them be exposed!

    ————————————————–

    You are talking about what the Patriots did 7-10 years ago, but Atwater crushed Okoye like 20 years ago?? And that doesn’t seem hypocritical to you?

    Poor deluded Bronchokes fan, apparently the lack of oxygen also affects the people that live in Denver.

  79. browniebuck says: Dec 23, 2011 8:50 AM

    Does Ryan Clark fly to road games or does he take the Madden Cruiser? If altitude is that serious of an issue for him, should he ever step foot on an airplane?

  80. rmm1984 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:01 AM

    kyleortonsarm: So playing in Denver makes this guy sick but playing on a team that harbors multiple known criminal offenders who attack women is just fine? I can’t believe the entire organization isn’t sick.

    —————————————————–

    Since 2009

    2 Steelers have been arrested
    9 Broncos have been arrested.

    Nice try though.

  81. rmm1984 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:04 AM

    kmkhaine

    Did you know that Terrell Suggs of the so called disciplined Baltimore Defense has been fined for dirty hits more than Harrison and Clark combined this season? Does anyone think before they post or just repeat what they hear from the media and internet?

  82. xxsweepthelegxx says: Dec 23, 2011 9:53 AM

    @ atwatercrushesokoye:
    Potential of back to back #1 seed in AFC means “dynasty” is over…Belichick sucks?? Weird thought process. I get it, championships is what EVERY team wants, but to say ho-hum, just another 13-3(assuming they win out) season is a disappointment is ridiculous. And for as much as Belichick has been crushed for his draft picks, def failures of late, he did select V.Wilfolk, J.Mayo, Gronkowski, A.Hernandez
    the Welker trade, etc… All teams have good/bad drafts,….but when you’re a top team you get scrutinized more, that’s life. Having arguably the best QB doesnt hurt either though, lol.

  83. rc33 says: Dec 23, 2011 10:37 AM

    bozos r us
    bozos r us
    bozos r us

  84. koenig61 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:42 PM

    @heisthjuan you can call it a high horse, but i call it being a civil human being. I’d never make jokes about anyone who almost died. But to each his own. If thats what gets you off, go for it.

    I have no problem with Ravens fans and Steeler fans making smart a$$ comments to each other, Pats/Jets doing the same or any other example you care to choose. But to make light of someone almost dying is just sick. If thats how you get your jollies, then you are one disturbed individual.

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