SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 19: 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. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has ruled safety Ryan Clark for the team's season opener against the Broncos at Mile High Stadium.
Ryan Clark, a safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, will not play in the team's opener against the Broncos at Mile High Stadium due to the high altitude, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin decided on Tuesday.
Tomlin made the same decision when the Steelers played the Broncos in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs in January. The Steelers lost that game in overtime.
Clark suffers from a sickle cell trait that caused him to have his gall bladder and spleen removed after suffering from severe pain in his left side during a game against the Broncos in 2007. The injuries cost him the season, although he managed to return to the team for the 2008 season, earning the Ed Block Award for courage.
Ryan Mundy is the next player on the depth chart at the free safety position and is likely to start for Clark. Mundy also started in the wild card game in January in Clark's place.