Knee Injury Casts Doubt on Browns’ Denzel Ward for Wild Card Playoff Game

Cleveland, Ohio – The Cleveland Browns have released the game status of several players as they prepare to face the Houston Texans in the Wild Card weekend. One key player, cornerback Denzel Ward, is listed as questionable for Saturday’s playoff matchup due to a knee injury. Head coach Kevin Stefanski revealed that Ward suffered the injury during Thursday’s practice. However, Stefanski provided limited information about the severity of the injury, stating, “Something with his knee, he was limited. I don’t really have an update past that.”

Alongside Ward, cornerback Mike Ford Jr., running back Pierre Strong Jr., and safety Juan Thornhill are also questionable for the first round of the playoffs. Strong Jr., who sustained a back injury in Week 18 against the Bengals, did not return to the game and has been limited in practice this week. Despite the setback, Stefanski praised Strong Jr.’s resilience, saying, “He battles like crazy. He’s a very tough kid, so he looked good.”

Unfortunately for the Browns, safety Grant Delpit, kicker Dustin Hopkins, and wide receiver Cedric Tillman will be unable to participate in the playoff opener. Delpit, who recently returned to practice after being designated to return from the injured reserve, did not get activated for the Wild Card game. Stefanski acknowledged Delpit’s progress in rehab, stating, “He’s trending in the right direction and progressing really well.”

Hopkins is still recovering from a left hamstring injury sustained during Week 16. With his uncertain status, the Browns have relied on kicker Riley Patterson, who joined the practice squad on December 25. Additionally, wide receiver Tillman will be sidelined due to a concussion sustained in Week 18. Stefanski shared that Tillman is currently undergoing the concussion protocol.

In summary, the Cleveland Browns face several key injury concerns heading into their Wild Card matchup against the Houston Texans. While Denzel Ward, Mike Ford Jr., Pierre Strong Jr., and Juan Thornhill are all questionable, Grant Delpit, Dustin Hopkins, and Cedric Tillman have been ruled out for the first game of the playoffs. The team remains optimistic about the progress of their injured players and hopes to overcome these setbacks in pursuit of victory.