Kevin Stefanski Adds Worrying Comment After Ruling Out Denzel Ward Against Broncos

It looks like it could be quite some time before Browns fans see Denzel Ward back on the gridiron.
Denzel Ward could miss more than just Week 12, per Browns HC Kevin Stefanski.
Denzel Ward could miss more than just Week 12, per Browns HC Kevin Stefanski. / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns will be without a key defender when they take on the Denver Broncos on the road in Week 12.

The Browns announced on Friday that cornerback Denzel Ward will not suit up on Sunday to face the Broncos due to a shoulder injury. Unfortunately, the bad news didn't stop there as head coach Kevin Stefanski said "we'll see" when asked if Ward will miss more time, per team insider Mary Kay Cabot.

Denzel Ward Injury Update

While Ward's injury update is unfortunate, it isn't surprising that he isn't playing this weekend after failing to practice all week. The 26-year-old cornerback injured his shoulder in Week 11's 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and didn't return.

Ward started in each of the Browns' 10 games thus far, playing 83% of defensive snaps. He constantly makes quarterbacks regret throwing the ball his way, highlighted by 10 defended passes and two interceptions, as well as a 48.1% completion percentage and 54.6 passer rating when targeted.

Nevertheless, a few weeks off could be exactly what Ward needs. While his absence won't go unnoticed, he was also dealing with a neck strain before his shoulder injury, meaning some additional time off could help him return to form for the playoff push.

Juan Thornhill's potential return would help fill Ward's void. The veteran safety is questionable for Sunday after missing Week 11 with a calf injury. Thornhill did return to practice on Thursday, so, hopefully, that's a sign of positive things to come.

Regardless of who suits up in Week 12, the Browns need all hands on deck to slow down the surging Broncos — especially with how efficient their passing game has been. In his last four starts, Denver QB Russell Wilson owns a 74.1% completion percentage and 112.9 passer rating while making seven touchdown passes.

As it stands, it looks like Sunday's showdown in the Mile High City could go either way. The Broncos are only 1.5-point favorites over the Browns at home, meaning it wouldn't be a shock if Cleveland pulls off the upset.

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