Following the bye week, the Steelers will travel to Denver to play the Broncos on Monday night football. Free safety Ryan Clark has a bad history health wise in the Mile High City. In 2005, while he was with the Redskins, Clark was diagnosed then with a bruised spleen, but the severity of his condition wasn\’t known until he played again in Denver in 2007. Clark has sickle-cell trait, which means his blood cells are not fully formed. The last time the Steelers played in Denver, Clark spent a night in a hospital before returning to Pittsburgh. His health worsened when he returned to Pittsburgh and it resulted in his spleen and gallbladder needing to be removed. It ended up costing him the rest of the season as well.
Clark has said already that he will likely travel to Denver with the team, but is unsure if he will play. In my opinion, it is not worth it and I would like him to not even risk it by traveling with the team. The season is more than one game. The Steelers managed to go 2-2 without Troy Polamalu and although Clark would be a huge one game loss, the free safety position is easier to fill for the Steelers depth wise than the strong safety position. Would it be a step down? Sure, but if it means keeping Clark healthy, it is worth letting him out, regardless of the outcome of the game in Denver.