Browns in ‘Wait-And-See’ Mode With Injured CB Denzel Ward

Tony Fields II of the Cleveland Browns celebrates with cornerback Denzel Ward.

Getty Tony Fields II of the Cleveland Browns celebrates with cornerback Denzel Ward.

The Cleveland Browns are in “wait-and-see” mode when it comes to Denzel Ward’s availability going forward.

Ward is dealing with a shoulder injury. He missed his second consecutive game on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. Ward has been a key part of the Browns’ historically great defense, locking down one side of the field.

The Browns are hoping he can return next week to face the Jacksonville Jaguars but it’ll depend on how he progresses next week, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Browns’ insider noted there may be some structural damage in Ward’s injured shoulder.

“Denzel Ward might have some damage in his shoulder, but he’s not expected to be out much longer,” Cabot said in her latest Q&A column on Saturday, December 2. “He’ll miss his second straight game against the Rams on Sunday, and his status for next week’s game against the Jaguars is to be determined. The Browns are hoping he’ll turn the corner this week, but they’re still in wait-and-see mode.”

In Ward’s absence, the Browns are relying on former first-round pick Greg Newsome and standout second-year quarterback Martin Emerson Jr.

Newsome was picked on against the Broncos. He posted an overall grade of 43.7 on Pro Football Focus with a miserable coverage mark of 34.1. He was targeted a season-high seven times, allowing four catches for 74 yards, per PFF. Newsome was also called for a long pass-interference penalty.

Denzel Ward Will be Missed by Browns

The Browns secondary is still a sturdy unit with Ward sidelined but safety Grant Delpit knows the task is tougher with Ward on the sideline.

“It’s hard not having the warden out there, man,” Delpit said on Tuesday, November 29. “Man, it’s hard not having him out here, but he’s trying to get healthy so we’ll be alright.”

Newsome echoed that sentiment, calling Ward the best cornerback in the league.

“It’s always important to get him back, for sure. I mean, the best cornerback in the NFL, so who wouldn’t want him out there?” Newsome said. “He’s a huge part to our success, but we just want him to take his time, make sure he’s 100% ready to go when he’s back.”

Browns Hammered by Key Injuries

Cleveland Browns star Myles Garrett did not miss any time with a shoulder injury.

Getty imagesCleveland Browns star Myles Garrett did not miss any time with a shoulder injury.

Injuries have defined the Browns’ season, although most of the notable issues have happened on the offensive side of the ball. Both Nick Chubb and Deshaun Watson have been lost for the year, as well as veteran right tackle Jack Conklin.

The injuries have started to leak over to the defensive side of the ball, with Ward and superstar pass-rusher Myles Garrett.

The Browns were initially concerned about Garrett potentially missing extensive time due to a shoulder injury. However, the Defensive Player of the Year contender suited up against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

“I mean, as my PT would say, that Wolverine blood and thanks to other staff here and my health and wellness team, culminated in me getting back on the field sooner than maybe some would have expected and being able to feel good going into this weekend, really, thanks for them,” Garrett said on Friday, December 1.

Along with Garrett, the Browns got a key piece of their defense back in Anthony Walker, who was dealing with a hamstring injury.

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