Ryan Clark says NFL players, including Steelers, turn to pot to ease pain

Jared Wickerham

Puff, puff, give...self-medication is apparently the norm in the NFL, according to Steelers safety Ryan Clark.

The pot isn't Ryan Clark's, it's his friend's.

According to the outspoken Steelers safety, players in the NFL, including some on the Pittsburgh Steelers, smoke marijuana to ease physical pain and help deal with the stress of playing in the league. "I know guys on my team who smoke," Clark said, . "And it's not a situation where you think, 'Oh, these are guys trying to be cool.' These are guys who want to do it recreationally.

"A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, 'If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.' Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to stress relieve and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it."

He made the claims on ESPN's First Take Thursday. Clark is a pending free agent, and is not expected to be re-signed by the team.

Comments like this won't necessarily usher in a triumphant return via a new contract, and perhaps they should be said.

Especially if the person saying it is looking to launch a broadcasting career...or someone who is just starting one.

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