The Cleveland Browns received some bad news during Sunday’s preseason tilt against the New York Giants, with starting cornerback Greedy Williams exiting with a groin injury.
Williams is penciled in as the starter opposite of Denzel Ward but has some competition in first-round rookie Greg Newsome II. Any missed time would be devastating for Williams’ prospects of starting the year atop the depth chart.
Williams’ return was dubbed as questionable, although it was very unlikely that he’d head back into the preseason game, especially considering his injury history.
The Browns sat the majority of their starters, including Ward, and also had 11 players out due to injury. With Williams out, second-year cornerback AJ Green got some extra reps. The Browns signed Green as an undrafted free agent last offseason and he appeared in just two games, registering one snap.
Green started three seasons for Oklahoma State, getting the nod as a second-team Big 12 defender twice. He had six interceptions and 147 total tackles over his career with Oklahoma State.
Williams Hoping to Overcome Injury Issues
The Browns selected Williams in the second round of the 2019 draft and he quickly became a valuable piece for the team, starting all 12 games he appeared in as a rookie. However, Williams — who is only 23 — missed all of last season with severe damage to the axillary nerve in his shoulder, an injury he suffered in training camp.
Williams entered training camp with no restrictions and was looking forward to the competition.
“I put in a lot of work in the offseason as far as rehab. Just coming out here and being able to do everything 100 percent makes me happy,” Williams told reporters at the start of training camp. “It feels great. Just taking a year out and just getting back out here is a different feeling. It is like new all over again. It feels great.”
The team has very much rallied around Williams and Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has commended the third-year cornerback for how hard he’s worked to get on the field. The team huddled around Williams after a nice pass breakup during their joint practices against the Giants.
“I think that was a really nice play,” Stefanski said. “Right in front of our sideline. Knew when to bring his hands up and defend the pass. A really nice play by Greedy. As you guys know, Greedy to be back where he is, to fight through what he had to fight through to get to where he is and play at a high level speaks volumes of the type of competitor he is.”
Newsome Learning From Talented Teammates
Newsome is getting an NFL crash course of sorts in training camp, getting to go up against Jarvis Landry and other talented Browns receivers. He’s embraced that experience, saying it’s made him “ten times better.”
“We are all making each other better. Like they say, iron sharpens iron,” Newsome said. “Going against these guys every single day is not only going to make me a better player but make them better players, as well.”
He’s impressed Stefanski, who has been impressed with how Newsome has dealt with his errors.
“He is doing a nice job. He is the type of kid who you do not see him make the same mistake twice. He will make a mistake – he is a rookie that is par for the course – but then he corrects it,” Stefanski said. “I see a very conscientious player.”
If Williams is sidelined for an extended period of time, Newsome’s shot will come sooner rather than later.