Browns officials were very concerned to see Denzel Ward leave their last preseason game due to injury. Luckily, his MRI results have come back clean.
More than any other NFL franchise, the Cleveland Browns could use some good luck. Winning just one game in two seasons qualifies you for some good karma. Fortunately for Denzel Ward, he seems to be the recipient of some good fortune.
According to head coach Hue Jackson, Ward won’t miss significant time after suffering a back injury against the Eagles on Thursday night. Things didn’t look good for the rookie cornerback at first. He appeared to be in serious pain after tackling tight end Zach Ertz. The team’s medical officials spent significant time with him in the locker room before he returned to the sidelines.
It certainly appeared to be the type of injury that could have sidelined Ward for a matter of weeks. Fortunately for everyone involved, that won’t be the case. The clean MRI results mean the Browns coaching staff can comfortably plan on Ward being the team’s starter at corner when the regular season arrives.
That’s exceptional news for a franchise that needs to get off to a hot start in the worst way. If Jackson wants to keep his job he’ll need to make substantial progress in 2018. The Browns don’t necessarily need to make the playoffs, but they’d like to stay in contention for most of the season. Having a competent defense would go a long way towards accomplishing that goal.
Ward’s presence in the secondary is particularly important since the team should feature a quality pass rush this year. Myles Garrett has looked terrific in the preseason. If he continues to get to the quarterback at such a prodigious rate, it’s going to give Ward a chance to make a lot of plays on the football. It’s not difficult to envision the talented rookie racking up quite a few interceptions if he can stay healthy.
The Browns might not be a playoff team this year, but Ward’s presence out wide should help them be much more competitive. Fortunately for Cleveland, their No. 4 draft pick isn’t nearly as injured as team officials first feared.