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Ryan Clark won’t play Sunday night

Ryan+Clark+Cleveland+Browns+v+Pittsburgh+Steelers+6EQygTHevxil Getty Images

When the Steelers 2011 season ended in Denver, safety Ryan Clark wasn’t on the field.

It doesn’t look like he’ll be on the field when they kick off the 2012 campaign either. Stephania Bell of ESPN.com reports that Clark will not play on Sunday night against the Broncos because of the health risks involved with playing at high altitude. Clark will reportedly travel with the team, as he did in January, but will not dress for the game.

Clark carries the sickle cell trait, which affects his red blood cells. When he played against the Broncos in Denver in 2007, Clark wound up hospitalized as a result of the altitude’s impact on his body. He ultimately needed to have his spleen and gall bladder removed and wound up missing the rest of the season. It’s not surprising that the Steelers would want to avoid a similar outcome this time around.

Ryan Mundy will likely start again in Clark’s place, which worked out fairly well for the Steelers in January. Mundy forced a pair of fumbles in that loss, although he was no more able to stop the Broncos on their game-winning pass to Demaryius Thomas than any of his teammates.

UPDATE 1:24 p.m. ET : Coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Tuesday that Clark won’t play.

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49 Responses to “Ryan Clark won’t play Sunday night”
  1. psuravens19 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:26 PM

    Smart move! A game isn’t worth it.

  2. nflofficeadmin says: Sep 4, 2012 12:28 PM

    Didn’t one of the members of Mobb Deep have sickle cell..

  3. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 4, 2012 12:29 PM

    He’s not about that life.

  4. tomthebombtracy says: Sep 4, 2012 12:30 PM

    Mike Tomlin confirmed that today in his weekly press conference which was followed by Ryan and his wife’s announcement regarding a new initiative regard his disease.

  5. stoogy says: Sep 4, 2012 12:34 PM

    Who cares they are bottom dwellers of the north. can’t wait till week 3. Ben will be gimping off the field with his eyes full of tears.

  6. thesmartestmanever says: Sep 4, 2012 12:37 PM

    they shouldn’t even risk him traveling with the team.

  7. dayumyou says: Sep 4, 2012 12:41 PM

    Oh please and this is NEWS…

  8. chingonon says: Sep 4, 2012 12:43 PM

    And in other news……the sun is still extremely hot.

  9. stoogy says: Sep 4, 2012 12:45 PM

    Mundy better anyway.

  10. bshuclassof2012 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:45 PM

    nflofficeadmin says:
    Sep 4, 2012 12:28 PM
    Didn’t one of the members of Mobb Deep have sickle cell..
    ———————————————————-

    Nice 2pac reference, and yes Prodigy has sickle cell.

  11. insanelomein2 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:46 PM

    Does this mean I should consider starting Eric Decker this week in fantasy?

  12. grudenlikesme says: Sep 4, 2012 12:49 PM

    Why are we reminded of this everytime these teams play each other ? We know already and it’s not gonna change. Mundy had an outstanding game last year anyway. Clarke isn’t that good anyway.

  13. brunmeister2011 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:51 PM

    Yes, by all means! We don’t want to have to remove his spleen and gall bladder all over again!

  14. threedeep1998 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:54 PM

    nflofficeadmin says: Sep 4, 2012 12:28 PM

    Didn’t one of the members of Mobb Deep have sickle cell..
    —————————————————–

    Your beef is mine

  15. tundey says: Sep 4, 2012 12:55 PM

    At this point, this isn’t news anymore. It’ll be news if he was going to play!

  16. mrhojorisin says: Sep 4, 2012 12:57 PM

    Similar outcome? Did Ryan’s spleen and gall bladder grow back?

  17. ziggy26 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:59 PM

    How can ESPN take credit for breaking this story? It’s pretty much common knowledge, right?

    I feel like breaking a story – This just in, Aaron Rodgers will start for the Green Bay Packers in Week 1.

  18. ldenne says: Sep 4, 2012 1:06 PM

    I could have told you this back in April when the schedule was released.

  19. brianfromcanada says: Sep 4, 2012 1:23 PM

    The steelers knew they would do this months ago and i’m sure they have a plan. They think they might be able to fool someone if they don’t announce it until last minute.

  20. mrhojorisin says: Sep 4, 2012 1:40 PM

    The Steelers aren’t trying to fool anybody, let alone Denver. Clark didn’t play in the playoff game there last year… think it was just a coincidence that Tebow shredded their secondary?

  21. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 4, 2012 1:43 PM

    Catching Peyton Manning in his first real game with the Broncos should take some of the sting out from the loss of Clark.
    Nevertheless, the Steelers’ secondary is in a shambles, which means they’ll need a heavy pass rush. The real key to the game for the Steelers is having a healthy James Harrison in the lineup.
    Without a pass rush, Manning will have his way, which means the Steelers’ offense might have to score 30 or more points. Be honest: Who’s feeling good about the prospects of that happening?

  22. sixlombardisinyourface says: Sep 4, 2012 1:47 PM

    The venue is a mistake by the league schedulers, according to a long standing standard venue rotation implemented by the league. This game should be in Pittsburgh, Clark should be playing. However, Manning should be cold as ice under the pressure for a 36 year old being out of football for over a year and having multiple neck vertebrae surgeries with average wideouts, and Pittsburgh having over 90% of 1st team defensive.

  23. mrhojorisin says: Sep 4, 2012 1:55 PM

    I can tell you I’m more worried about them facing Manning without Clark this Sunday than I was last year about them facing Tebow under the same circumstances… and we saw how that turned out.

  24. jomochiefsfan84 says: Sep 4, 2012 2:01 PM

    Im def not a steelers fan but I think it’s funny their already being wrote off on week 1 they will still put up a good game this will be a blowout by no means! Broncos fans shouldnt be so confident so soon we haven’t even got to week 1 & they already think their going to the Super Bowl

  25. mostlombardisintheleague says: Sep 4, 2012 2:03 PM

    @bobzilla1001,

    Is anyone feeling good about Manning being 36, having multiple neck vertebrae surgeries, being out of football for over a year, having average wideouts and playing on a brand new team ?
    What was his longest completion or attempt in pre-season ?

    Pittsburgh is feeling good about having a healthy Roethlisberger who put up 28 points in Denver last time with a hobbled ankle.

  26. armorgan67 says: Sep 4, 2012 2:08 PM

    Some of you need to ease up on the attacks on Clark. He has a serious condition and jokes are made about it. It’s not funny. Maybe if some of you had the sickle cell trait or some other serious condition then you would understand. FTR, yes I also have the sickle cell trait and have had cancer twice in my life and beat it so I’m very sensitive about health issues like this. Being a former football player I know he wants to play especially if you are on the other side of your career but he can’t. I bet when the schedule came out he probably said the league is getting back at me for always bashing Goddell even though we know thats not true.

  27. ajschn06 says: Sep 4, 2012 2:09 PM

    insanelomein2 says:
    Sep 4, 2012 12:46 PM
    Does this mean I should consider starting Eric Decker this week in fantasy?

    ————————————————-

    If you want to win, you should be starting Eric Decker every week…

  28. Steeley McBeam says: Sep 4, 2012 2:16 PM

    People who say the Steelers secondary is in shambles are ignorant. Just because you havent heard of Kenan Lewis or Cortez Allen doesnt mean theyre not ready. Theres a reason they let Willie Gay walk and these 2 have battled all camp for the #2 spot opposite Ike Taylor, with the loser being a very strong nickle back.

    Id say the LB position is more in shambles than anything with all the injuries theyre dealing with. Woodley is gonna bring it and Timmons is back to his natural position. Foote has been there before so its up to Harrison health.

    Clark being out is certainly a big blow to the defense but the problems they had with Tebow last year were schematic, not personel.

  29. stoogy says: Sep 4, 2012 2:24 PM

    Bobzilla
    If more peaple that lived in western pa acted more like you and did not act like steelers are gods gift to the nfl i probably wouldn’t hate the steelers so bad. You speak the truth about the steelers not like the other homers in western pa. i believe yinzgot 6 said something simular to this the other day and i couldn’t agree more. On the other hand peaple like steelersownyou is a disgrace to steeler fans.

  30. csilojohnson says: Sep 4, 2012 2:33 PM

    Seems this game has been in Denver 3 in a row. I know the playoff schedule is what it is. Even without last year seems it should be in Pittsburgh. To a previous commentor. I dont know who Clarke is, but Clark has been very good opposite Troy through the years.

  31. dirtybird28 says: Sep 4, 2012 2:45 PM

    I thought Clarke tweeted this the day that the schedule was announced?

  32. steelersmichele says: Sep 4, 2012 2:47 PM

    Tomlin definitely said Clark had sickle-cell like symptoms…

    Thesmartestmanever, Clark travels with the team and is monitored by doctors the entire time he’s there. The have him run around the field and exercise and monitor how his body reacts so they can help others with the same disease.

    He has been cleared by doctors to play, but Tomlin told him he won’t because his life isn’t work the risk for a game.

  33. ptdennis says: Sep 4, 2012 2:54 PM

    Other than playoff games, I wonder why Denver has not played in Pittsburgh since 2006.

  34. ravenator says: Sep 4, 2012 3:16 PM

    Secondary is atrocious even with Clark. Have fun in the basement this season.

  35. crosberger says: Sep 4, 2012 3:34 PM

    1. This isn’t news

    2. The game should be a good one

    3. Ravenator’s IQ is higher than a gerbil’s, but markedly lower than most other domestic pets

  36. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 4, 2012 3:43 PM

    mostlombardis:
    Last time Roethlisberger was in Denver, he and his offense produced just two field goals in the first half of a 29-23 loss in overtime. For the game, Roethlisberger had one TD pass and one interception in 40 attempts. His QB Rating for that game was a 25, the lowest QBR among quarterbacks on wildcard weekend.
    I get your point about Manning. And I do believe I mentioned that in my orginial post.

  37. lilrob10201 says: Sep 4, 2012 3:54 PM

    Well.We know if he becomes a free agent that he will not be a Bronco.

  38. vasteelerfan says: Sep 4, 2012 4:07 PM

    I think all steeler fans should prepare for a so so season. Questions everywhere on the d and a new OC. Yes it is hard to take, but we know the ravens will choke if they get to conference title game . So sit back and enjoy the games Knowing we have won our share and need to retool. Also there is comfort that we live rent free in ravenator’s tiny brain.

  39. randallflagg52 says: Sep 4, 2012 4:12 PM

    Well this bodes well for steeler fans.

    They get a built in excuse for when Manning drops 30 plus points on them and gets the win.

  40. codysteeler says: Sep 4, 2012 4:13 PM

    Big loss, hopefully ike can defend d. Thomas this game…

  41. seahawksteven777 says: Sep 4, 2012 4:24 PM

    I don’t know why some are acting like this is new or even breaking news for that matter. Ever since the Denver game in 07, it should be obvious that everytime he plays in Denver that he won’t play. Common sense.

  42. southpaw2k says: Sep 4, 2012 4:28 PM

    armorgan67 says:
    Sep 4, 2012 2:08 PM
    Some of you need to ease up on the attacks on Clark. He has a serious condition and jokes are made about it. It’s not funny. Maybe if some of you had the sickle cell trait or some other serious condition then you would understand. FTR, yes I also have the sickle cell trait and have had cancer twice in my life and beat it so I’m very sensitive about health issues like this. Being a former football player I know he wants to play especially if you are on the other side of your career but he can’t. I bet when the schedule came out he probably said the league is getting back at me for always bashing Goddell even though we know thats not true.

    ————————————————-

    Before I say anything, congrats on kicking cancer in the teeth. Twice, no less. I sincerely hope you live many years cancer-free.

    Now, I don’t think anyone is mocking Clark for not playing; they’re commenting that this is an unsurprising move. The Steelers have played – I think – three games in Denver in the last three years including this year’s season opener, and Clark hasn’t played in any of them because of his sickle cell anemia. If anything, the comments here are more about asking why this is considered news since it’s more or less a no-brainer for Clark to stay home.

  43. ianwetpantscom says: Sep 4, 2012 4:35 PM

    Clark could always be a body gaurd for Ben, just say’n!

  44. roygerela says: Sep 4, 2012 5:06 PM

    I heard it was just sickle cell related symptoms.

  45. vincentbojackson says: Sep 4, 2012 6:15 PM

    Game’s not worth dying for.

  46. yinzgotsix says: Sep 4, 2012 8:10 PM

    Ryan should just watch the steelers lose from the comfort of his own home. They couldn’t beat the broncos with tebow at the helm, what makes steeler fans think they could beat them with manning? If he’s half as good as he was before the surgeries and a year off, the broncos will win by atleast 2 scores. Can you imagine this terrible O-line in the 4th qtr when they are completely exhausted and can’t catch their breath? Ben should fear for his safety.

  47. ace1716 says: Sep 4, 2012 9:59 PM

    this is not news…he’s never played in Denver since he’s been with the Steelers

  48. sudz28 says: Sep 5, 2012 6:51 AM

    It’s just amazing how the best just keeps getting better, smart decision by the front office and true caring for their players. This is how it’s done – take note, rest of the league!

  49. Steeler's Will-enator says: Sep 6, 2012 8:28 AM

    With Manning in town there well could be a few more playoff games hosted in Denver.

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