DENVER -- Mike Tomlin took the decision out of Ryan Clark's hands and told his starting free safety he would not play in Denver last night.
Tomlin, who has been mum on his decision despite reports in the Post-Gazette and elsewhere that Clark was not likely to play, gave his reasons for not using him last night on the team's official Web site.
Tomlin and Clark had insisted all week that no decision would be made until Monday, and Tomlin listed him as questionable on Saturday.
"I told Ryan I wasn't going to allow him to play, and he was OK with that. I think it was the appropriate thing to do in this situation," Tomlin said on Steelers.com.
"I didn't want to be worried about his physical well-being, and I know his teammates would be, plus his wife and family. By not allowing him to play, I think we all can be singularly focused on what we came to Denver to do, which is win a football game."
Clark made the trip with the team and was running on the field before the game.
Two other defensive starters for the Steelers were scratched last night besides Clark: defensive end Travis Kirschke and linebacker Lawrence Timmons, both injured in the previous game.
In a bit of a surprise, Tomlin decided to dress only three defensive ends, starters Nick Eason and Brett Keisel and rookie backup Ziggy Hood. Rookie Sunny Harris, the only other end on the roster, was inactive. Backup nose tackle Chris Hoke practiced some at defensive end last week.
The other Steelers inactives were guard Kraig Urbik, tackle Tony Hills and wide receiver Shaun McDonald. Wide receiver Limas Sweed, who did not dress the past two games in favor of McDonald, played last night.
Among the Denver's inactives were two starters, defensive end Ryan McBean and offensive tackle Ryan Harris.
Ben Roethlisberger will be featured 7 tonight on ESPN's E:60, a magazine-like show. The show delves into areas on and off the field with the Steelers quarterback, including the sexual assault civil lawsuit filed against Roethlisberger this summer.
Roethlisberger has not talked publicly about the lawsuit except for brief statements he made days afterward at a news conference in response to the suit being filed, and a comment he made after the first practice of training camp in which he apologized to his teammates the night before because of the possible distraction the suit might cause the team.
Carey Davis, the only fullback listed on the Steelers' roster, dressed for the first time in two games and then left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.