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Eyes On End-Zone Pittsburg Steelers Safety Ryan Clark may soon find himself deactivated from the team roster. Number 25 {Clark} was signed as a 2002 undrafted free agent, with 39 tackles, two interceptions and 0 sacks. A medical condition that has caused him to lose 35 pounds due to medical complications, has his NFL career on the hot plate. Clark suffers from a sickle-cell trait and another undisclosed medical condition. Shortly after playing a game in Denver’s high altitude….Clark became, severely, ill. The episode has caused him {Clark} to undergo surgeries to remove his spleen and gall bladder.

On this coming Monday night….Pittsburg will return to Denver for another game (for the first time, since, his {Clark} acute health crisis). Unbelievably, he is seriously considering playing in the Denver game. Although, medical permission has been given for him to play in the game….steel dust doubts are casting clouds over his {Clark} anticipated return to the playing field.

One of the complications associated with the sickle-cell trait in blood is…. the prevention of the entire spleen to obtain the required amount of oxygen to function, correctly. Exposing himself {Clark} to high levels of stress and exertion in high altitudes could prove to be fatal. The general manager of the Pittsburg Steelers is, totally, against Clark’s return during the Denver game. He expressed his dismay by stating….“why take a chance?”

Clark is not the only player on Pittsburg’s roster with the sickle-cell trait. Santonio Holmes has the disorder, as well as, many other NFL players. Holmes, however, falls into the 99 percentile category. This affected group of people does not suffer the complications of exposure to high altitudes and extreme stress levels. The question that I present is this….should athletes in the one percentile category with the sickle-cell trait (the high altitude, extreme stress level affected group) be allowed to play high impact or extreme stress level sports?

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