There’s still a lot of talk about if safety Ryan Clark should take the field in Denver this Monday when the Steelers play the Broncos. Clark suffers from sickle-cell trait, and the last time he played in the thin air of Denver, he got sick enough to where eh lost 30 pounds and almost lost his life. He had to get his spleen and gall bladder removed following the trip there.
Now wide out Hines Ward is speaking out about Clark, and saying that he shoudn’t put his life on the line just to play in the game. “I know he wants to be out there but life is way more precious than football,” Ward said in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “When football ends, you can still go on and have a productive life. What Ryan went through the last time he was there, to see him lose his spleen and to come to find out it was because of the Denver trip … if it were me, I wouldn’t play. It’s not even a question. But I can’t speak for somebody else. I don’t know how he and his family feel about the situation.”
Clark has yet to say if he is going to heed the warnings and try to play in the game. He didn’t say it on Monday if he’ll play, and Mike Tomlin said that he and Clark will make that decision together. Clark should do the right thing, and put his family and his body first and skip the game. It’s not worth the risk of having another lifethreatening setback.