He's caught passes over the middle with busted ribs; he's been dragged off the field by the training staff only to return and put his body on the line again. He regularly blocks defensive ends that outweigh him by 70 pounds and he's somehow stayed healthy despite being every defensive back's top target. So when Hines Ward says that if he was Ryan Clark, he wouldn't play this weekend, it means something.
"If it were me, no I wouldn't go," Ward said. "You know what? Football's second when it comes to someone's life. Life is more important than football to me."
The last time Pittsburgh played in Denver, Clark suffered some significant health problems because of his sickle cell condition. He eventually had to have his spleen removed, lost 30 pounds and missed the rest of the 2007 season. Doctors have cleared Clark to play this weekend, but understandably he's still trying to decide what to do when Pittsburgh plays Denver this week.