Browns Star Denzel Ward Sends Stern Message Ahead of Postseason

Cleveland Browns star Denzel Ward is ready for playoff action.

Getty Images Cleveland Browns star Denzel Ward is ready for playoff action.

Denzel Ward took to Instagram with a stern message ahead of the Cleveland Browns‘ Wild Card matchup with the Houston Texans.

Ward posted a photo of himself in a mask on the sideline with a very Nick Chubb-like message.

“On A Mission, So Coming Masked Up Is The Only Option,” Ward wrote on Instagram. “People Don’t Fear The Mask… They Fear What’ The Person’ Behind The Mask is Capable Of. #BeLegendary.”

The message from Ward came before he was injured during practice. The Browns top cornerback suffered a knee injury and has been listed as questionable for Saturday’s win-or-go-home affair.

Ward did practice but was limited on Thursday. Head coach Kevin Stefanski didn’t sound overly concerned but also didn’t have a lot of info when he talked to the media.

“Just something with his knee. He was limited,” Stefanski said. “I don’t really have an update past that practice today.”

Ward is one of the best cornerbacks in the league and was recently named to his third Pro Bowl. He appeared in 13 games during the regular season, notching 11 passes defensed and a pair of interceptions.

“It’s a lot of emotions that go through my mind,” Ward’s cornerback co-star Greg Newsome said on Thursday. “He’s our leader, he’s one of arguably the best cornerbacks in the league. So it’s definitely tough, but I know Denzel’s a trooper and he’s a fighter, so if he’s able to go, he’ll be ready to go.”

Browns CB Denzel Ward Key Against C.J. Stroud

Cleveland Browns CB Denzel Ward was recently named to his third Pro Bowl.

Getty ImagesCleveland Browns CB Denzel Ward was recently named to his third Pro Bowl.

The Browns secondary needs to be at full strength for the matchup against the Texans and standout rookie QB C.J. Stroud. The former Ohio State standout passed for 4,108 yards, 23 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions during the regular season.

The Browns did not see him on Christmas Eve when they beat the Texans 36-22. Case Keenum started in Stroud’s place as he dealt with a concussion.

It’s clear Ward has a hefty amount of respect for Stroud. However, he is looking forward to the matchup.

“Real big challenge. This is a new quarterback for their team,” Ward said on Thursday, January 10. “Like you said, he’s a Buckeye, so all the Buckeyes are great. So he’s a great quarterback, though. Very accurate passer, puts the ball on the money, can make all the throws on the field, gets the ball to his playmaker, goes through his progressions. So he’s been having a real good year and going to bring a challenge to us that I think we’re up for, though.”

Denzel Ward Believes Browns Better Than 2020 Edition

This will be Ward’s second appearance in the postseason with the Browns. Cleveland also punched its ticket to the playoffs in 2020. However, he feels like this team is more prepared to make a run.

“I think we got a lot of talent. That team had a lot of talent as well. But over that, I mean, talent doesn’t just win games,” Ward said. “I think just how locked in we are and the camaraderie and how close we are as a team has got us as far as we are, and we just got to keep building upon that and that’s going to start come Saturday.”

Much of that camaraderie has come through battling through adversity. The Browns built up an 11-6 record this season despite key injuries to stars like Nick Chubb, Deshaun Watson, and many others.

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