Update: Tomlin Decrees Clark Won’t Play Sunday

 Posted by at 2:12 pm  Injury Report, Ryan Clark, Secondary  Comments Off on Update: Tomlin Decrees Clark Won’t Play Sunday
Jan 032012

As I wrote this morning, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was given the decision as to whether safety Ryan Clark will play this Sunday in Denver. Well, he’s made his choice and Clark will be inactive when the Steelers take the field against the Broncos. I’m not really surprised by this choice since it’s the same one he made the last time we visited the Mile High City.

A fully healthy Clark accompanied the team to Denver in 2009 and did some running drills to test how his body would react. While the sickle cell trait which flared up after a game against Denver in 2007 didn’t seem affected, it’s best to err on the side of caution. The first time, Clark lost his spleen, gallbladder and thirty pounds while the Steelers lost him for the season. A second flare-up could potentially cost Clark his life.

Now we know why the Steelers were compelled to re-sign Anthony Madison. Madison is primarily a corner but has played some safety during his time in the Black and Gold. Ryan Mundy, who has played very well when called upon this season, will start in place of Clark with veteran Will Allen also there for insurance. Keenan Lewis, who has been the team’s primary nickelback this season, wasn’t mentioned as among the injured despite missing time against Cleveland. Tomlin did say rookie Cortez Allen is questionable after suffering a separated shoulder. Allen comes in when Dick LeBeau goes to his six DBs formation so Bryant McFadden might see increased playing time on Sunday.

The bad news is our top ranked secondary just took a pretty big hit with the loss of Clark, who is by all accounts having a Pro Bowl caliber season. The good news is we’re facing the Denver Broncos, who are almost exclusively a running team. Last week in a game the Broncos thought they had to win to make the playoffs, Tim Tebow completed a grand total of SIX passes. Even against a depleted Steelers defense, I’d be hard-pressed to envision him throwing more effectively against us.


Injuries Mount As Steelers Limp Into Denver

 Posted by at 8:08 am  Injury Report, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Clark, Secondary  Comments Off on Injuries Mount As Steelers Limp Into Denver
Jan 032012

Maybe Mike Tomlin has a medical career in his future after all.

In his post-game press conference, the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach declined to speculate on the injury to running back Rashard Mendenhall. He simply opined, “When a guy goes down in open grass not touched by anyone, experience tells me that’s generally not good.” Well, the diagnosis turned out to be as bad as we feared with Mendy suffering a torn ACL requiring immediate surgery. The Steelers placed him on injured reserve, ending his 2011 season.

Longtime members of Steeler Nation will remember Rod Woodson became the first (and as far as I know, only) player to return from a torn ACL in the same season when the Black and Gold made it all the way to the Super Bowl in 1995. Typically, that injury requires a 6-8 month healing period and even then players often take a few years to get back to where they were before. If they ever get there at all.
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Ironhead Jr. Signs With Steelers

 Posted by at 11:29 pm  Cameron Heyward, Roster Moves  Comments Off on Ironhead Jr. Signs With Steelers
Jul 292011

The Pittsburgh Steelers completed deals with their last two unsigned draft picks this afternoon.  Most notably, first rounder [intlink id=”39″ type=”category”]Cameron \”Ironhead Jr.\” Heyward [/intlink]agreed to a four year $6.7 million contract with $3.3 million in guaranteed money.

To give you an idea of how rookies have taken it up the ass under the new CBA, our top pick following our last Super Bowl appearance, Ziggy Hood, signed a five year deal for $8.7 million which included a $6 million signing bonus in addition to another $2.7 million in salary that could double based on various performance incentives.  Not that I would object to being abused to the tune of $3.3 million, mind you.
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