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Old 01-03-2012, 08:12 AM   #1
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Default Health Implications for Steelers Vs Broncos in Wild Card Game

Via my blog @: http://www.steelersideline.blogspot.com

With an impressive 12-4 Regular season record, the Pittsburgh Steelers came close to securing a First-Round bye with a win over Cleveland. Unfortunately, Baltimore, who outlasted a late comeback by the Cincinnati Bengals, also finished 12-4 but hold a tiebreaker after beating the Steelers twice in the regular season. Pittsburgh, who had hoped to take advantage of an extra week to rest and heal injured players, now faces the AFC West Champion Broncos in the upcoming Wild Card weekend. Playing on the road in Denver presents a challenge not only for injured players, but healthy players too. Hereís a look at the biggest health concerns the Steelers face.

#1: The Health of Ben Roethlisberger

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who sustained a high-ankle sprain in a Week 14 victory over the Cleveland Browns, still showed limited mobility in the Steelers final regular season game. In the two games he has started since the injury, Roethlisberger has had some of his worst statistics passing, completing just over 50% of his passes with zero touchdown throws. In Week 15 in San Francisco, Roethlisberger had his worst performance of the year, as he turned the ball over 5 times with 3 picks and 2 strip-sacks. In the final game against Cleveland, Roethlisberger was off-target on early, completing just two of his first seven throws. Facing strong winds and a troublesome Cleveland pass rush, Ben finished the game with 23 of 40 completions for 221 yards and no touchdowns.
Roethlisberger faces a Broncoís Defense that has been stellar since midseason. Denver finished the season 10th overall in sacks. Rookie Linebacker Von Miller had 11.5 sacks in 15 games this season along with Elvis Dumervilís 9.5 in 14 games. The Steelers will rely on Roethlisbergerís ability to be mobile in the pocket and extend plays throughout the post-season. An extra week off would have been a huge bonus, but if Ben has shown anything in his eight seasons as starting quarterback, itís his tenacity in tough situations. As usual, Roethlisberger will shine in the Playoffs.
#2: Ryan Clark in the Mile High City

Steelers Free Safety Ryan Clark, born with Sickle Cell Trait, nearly saw the end of his playing career as well as his life following a 2007 regular season game in Denver. High elevation, as well as extreme exercise causes complications in Sickle Cell patients. Clark had to be rushed to a nearby Hospital, where he had both his spleen and gallbladder removed. The Safety missed the remainder of the 2007 season and did not return to Denver during the 2009 regular season Ė a decision made by Head Coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers would certainly love to have him in the lineup against the Broncos, all health concerns aside. Clark led the NFLís top-ranked defense with 100 tackles this season. He is the first defensive back to have led the team in tackles in the 21st Century.
The Steelers have not yet announced whether or not Clark will play this weekend, but Mike Tomlin has indicated that the decision will belong to team doctorsónot to Ryan Clark. Without Clark, backup Ryan Mundy would get the start. Mundy, a Pittsburgh native has started only 2 games in 3 seasons with the Steelers.

#3: Lamarr Woodley:

Outside linebacker Lamarr Woodley, since suffering a hamstring injury in the teamís 25-17 victory over the New England Patriots, has seen limited playing time. The star linebacker missed the season finale versus the Browns, a decision made by the coaching staff in hopes of having him fully rested for the playoffs. Woodley and fellow Outside Linebacker James Harrison, once the NFLís most ferocious pass-rush duo, havenít taken the field together since the teamís September 25th victory over Indianapolis.

#4: RG Doug Lagursky

Steelerís multi-purpose lineman Doug Legursky, who has started 10 games for the Steelers this season mostly at Right Guard, was ruled out of last Sundayís game versus the Browns with a shoulder injury. His status against the Broncos has not yet been announced. He will in all likelihood be in the starting lineup this weekend. Legursky, who signed with the team as an undrafted free agent rookie in 2008, overtook veteran Chris Kemoeatu this season for the starting Right Guard position. Legurskyís absence was somewhat displaced by the return of Steelerís Pro Bowl Center Maurkice Pouncey, who missed two games this season with an ankle injury lingering from last season. Both Legursky and Pouncey are expected to play against the Broncos.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Health Implications for Steelers Vs Broncos in Wild Card Game

not to mention the hit our secondary has taken - we might be able to hide it for the wildcard - but we're going to get torched here eventually - that one to me hurts more than anything else
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Health Implications for Steelers Vs Broncos in Wild Card Game

this blows. it seems like every other team entering the playoffs is as healthy as can be. we're limping in with injuries everywhere.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Health Implications for Steelers Vs Broncos in Wild Card Game

Next man up.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Health Implications for Steelers Vs Broncos in Wild Card Game

Pouncy?
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