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Don Wright, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this file photo taken Dec. 4, 2011, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark (25) tosses his shoe to the fans following their 35-7 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. Clark wants to play in Denver on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, against the Broncos in the wild card round, however, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is holding Clark out of the lineup as a precaution due to a sickle-cell trait that becomes aggravated when playing at higher elevations.

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark says he didn't put up a fight when coach Mike Tomlin told Clark he couldn't play in Sunday's wild card game at Denver because of a blood condition that becomes aggravated when playing at altitude.

Clark called his talk with Tomlin on Monday "one-sided" and added he didn't protest because Tomlin isn't the kind of coach who changes his mind.

Clark nearly died in 2007 following a game in Denver when the sickle-cell trait he suffers from flared up. He lost his spleen and gall bladder in addition to losing 30 pounds.

Clark said he would have let himself play if the decision was up to him and was relieved when Tomlin stepped in. Clark will make the trip and plans on helping replacement Ryan Munday as much as he can.