Saturday, June 25, 2022

Browns share MRI results after CB Denzel Ward suffers foot injury

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The Cleveland Browns appear to have dodged a few bullets in the defensive backfield.

Cover cornerback Denzel Ward suffered a foot injury on Thursday, June 16, the final day of the team’s mandatory minicamp at FirstEnergy Stadium. Ward was spotted leaving the practice field early and moving cautiously on his left foot. He didn’t come back.

Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reported Friday that doctors took an MRI and X-rays the following day, all of which showed there was no apparent structural damage to Ward’s foot. The expectation, Cabot continued, is that he will be ready by the time training camp begins on July 27.

“The Browns breathed a sigh of relief Friday when tests on cornerback Denzel Ward’s left foot showed nothing too serious, a league source told cleveland.com,” Cabot wrote.

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News of Ward’s injury was disturbing for a number of reasons. First and foremost, he’s the team’s most talented cornerback and one of the few true lockdown coverage players in the NFL.

Second, the Browns have invested a lot of money in extending Ward this offseason. He signed a new five-year deal in April that will net him more than $100 million to remain in Cleveland.

When Ward signed the agreement, it was the richest annual contract for a player at his position in NFL history.

Cabot also updated the status of cornerback Greedy Williams, who missed all mandatory minicamp with an undisclosed injury prior to Cabot’s report.

Williams has a significant injury history during his three-year NFL tenure, including damaging a nerve in his shoulder that sidelined him for the entire 2020 regular season. Williams is expected to start alongside Ward as part of a talented Browns’ secondary school, with Newsome slated to move into the slot.

That both Ward and Williams are likely to participate in training camp activities is indeed reassuring news for the Browns, as newly acquired quarterback Deshaun Watson could face a year-long suspension from the NFL for violating the Player Conduct Policy. according to a Washington Post report on Friday.

If Watson is sidelined for an extended period, Cleveland will be forced to lean on backup QB Jacoby Brissett to take the reins, meaning the defense will also have an outsized share of the responsibility for the Browns week in and week out to keep competitive.

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