The Cleveland Browns have been hammered by injuries all season. The nightmare that started with Jack Conklin in Week 1 continued with season-ending injuries to Nick Chubb and Deshaun Watson in the following weeks. Yet, the Browns kept on winning and secured themselves a playoff spot for the second time in 20 years.
However, the bad injury luck has followed the Browns into the postseason. Earlier this week, the Browns ruled out safety Grant Delpit, kicker Dustin Hopkins, and wide receiver Cedric Tillman ahead of Saturday's AFC Wild Card game against the Houston Texans.
Browns star cornerback Denzel Ward had also suffered a knee injury during Thursday's practice, raising concerns about his availability on Saturday. The team had listed him as questionable.
Fans finally got some good news on Ward's availability. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported that the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback is "set to play" on Saturday.
On top of the latest reporting, Ward took to social media himself to reassure fans.
This is as good news as the Browns fans could have received ahead of the playoffs. Ward has been a major part of the Browns' no. 1 ranked defense, finishing the season with 34 tackles, 11 passes defended, and two interceptions in 13 games. In the three games he missed this season, the Browns went 1-2 and struggled to slow down the Broncos and the Rams offenses in back-to-back games.
When Cleveland defeated the Texans 36-22 in Week 16, Ward was a huge part of the Browns' suffocating defense. He held Houston's lead receiver Nico Collins to four catches and 18 yards. He will take on that assignment once again.
Cleveland will be missing a few key players against the Houston Texans, but the return of Denzel Ward should instill hope in Browns fans. They are still a 2.5-point favorite with -134 ML on FanDuel Sportsbook.
New users just need to deposit $10 or more and bet $5 on the Browns to unlock a guaranteed $150 bonus, which pays out regardless of the result of your bet. Sign up now to claim your offer before it expires!
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
More Browns news:
21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER