PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to take on the Denver Broncos in the Wild Card round of the playoffs on Sunday.
Head coach Mike Tomlin revealed some mixed news about the team’s injuries during his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon. According to Tomlin, running back Rashard Mendenhall has been placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL.
“We look forward to getting him healthy and well and fixed and back in business for us in the 2012 season,” Tomlin said at his weekly press conference Tuesday. “We appreciate his contributions. We acknowledge that injuries are a part of the game. We are disappointed for him, but from a playing standpoint we fully expect to move forward with the men we have working. We know they are capable.”
Currently, the team is trying to work out a date for Mendenhall to undergo surgery.
The other big news is that safety Ryan Clark will sit out of Sunday’s game because of a sickle cell trait that doesn’t react well to the high altitude in Denver. Clark became severly ill after playing there in 2007 and Tomlin said the decision was taken out of Clark’s hands.
“Not much of a conversation,” Tomlin said. “I talked to the medical experts, I called Ryan in and I told him he wasn’t playing. He said okay.”
As for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Tomlin said his ankle is continuing to improve. Tight end David Johnson continues to deal with a hyperextended elbow, but is expected to be available against the Broncos.
Also, offensive lineman Doug Legursky and linebacker LaMarr Woodley are both expected to be ready to play against Denver. However, cornerback Cortez Allen and running back Mewelde Moore are being listed as “questionable at best.”
The team has also signed cornerback Anthony Madison to help out with their secondary depth.
“He has a very established resume as a special team’s performer,” said Tomlin of Madison. “We are running a little thin at gunner-like bodies. This is a guy that taught quite a few of our players around here how to play the position. We are very comfortable having him back in the fold and looking forward to him putting his hand in the pile and helping with this week’s challenges.”
Denver squeaked into the playoffs with an 8-8 record as AFC West champions. After ripping off six straight wins earlier this season, the Broncos enter the playoffs on a three-game losing streak.
In order to beat the Broncos, Tomlin said the Steelers’ defense will have to stand up and play together.
You can watch the Steelers take on the Broncos on KDKA-TV at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.