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Insider Only Steelers – Tuesday: Tomlin rules Ryan Clark out of Sunday’s game & latest injury buzz

Steelers – Tuesday

The Pittsburgh Steelers have given no consideration to Ryan Clark playing Sunday afternoon vs the Denver Broncos and head coach Mike Tomlin indicated during his press conference that he has informed Clark that he won’t play vs the Broncos. Ryan Mundy will start in place of Clark.
” In a nutshell he’s starter capable, ” Tomlin said of Ryan Mundy who will replace Clark in the starting lineup. Will Allen could also see some time at free safety.
Tomlin in a no brainer move, called it “an easy decision” to make in regards to sitting Clark. “Not much of a conversation, ” Tomlin said on Clark, indicating he called Clark into his office and told him he’s not playing and Clark left saying okay.
“I met with him and informed him I am not going to allow him to play in the game,” Tomlin said. “It was an easy decision for us. When looking at all of our data we came to the determination he is at more risk so we are not going to play him. It’s that simple….”
Tomlin also confirmed that running back Rashard Mendenhall is out for the season and will have surgery in the coming weeks. “We appreciate his contributions, ” Tomlin said. “We are disappointed for him, but from a playing standpoint we expect to move forward with the men we have,” .
Mendenhall finished shy of his third consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season as he finished the 2011 campaign with 928 yards on 228 attempts. He added nine rushing touchdowns and two 100-yard rushing performances on the year. Mendenhall has 3,367 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns in his four years with Pittsburgh. He enters the 2012 season in the final year of his contract.

Moore, Allen out for Sunday?

Also on the injury front, the Steelers are not optimistic about cornerback Cortez Allen (shoulder) and Mewelde Moore (knee) playing in Sunday’s game. Tomlin said he is leaving the “window” open for both players but called both players “questionable at best”.
Tomlin does not expect to sign a running back.

Ben, Johnson, Lewis appear okay

A few other plays nicked up include David Johnson who has a hyper extended elbow but is expected to be fine and play. QB Ben Roethlisberger was seen limping badly out of the game but Tomlin indicates Ben “appears fine” and while he’s expected to be limited early in the week, his availability for Sunday is not in question.
The good news for the Steelers is that CB Keenan Lewis appears fine after suffering a hamstring injury in Sunday’s game. An MRI revealed little damage and Lewis is expected to be able to play.

Woodley, Legursky to play

While there’s some thought that the team should sit LaMarr Woodley again and that the team can get past Denver without him, that’s not going to be the mindset of Tomlin who expects Woodley to play, saying that Woodley is good to go.
LG Doug Legursky (shoulder) is also ready to return to the lineup and should start at left guard is he’s 100%. Chris Kemoeatu hasn’t done enough to regain his starting job and Tomlin said there’s a strong chance that Legursky starts.

Madison Back

Tomlin confirmed the signing of cornerback Anthony Madison. Tomlin said the primary reason for bringing Madison back was because of his ability as a gunner on special teams. Madison originally signed with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2006. He spent time on Pittsburgh’s active roster and practice squad in each of his six seasons, but he also was active with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2006), Cleveland Browns (2009), Indianapolis Colts (2009) and most recently the Detroit Lions (2011). He was the Steelers No. 4 cornerback last post-season.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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