Ward recorded six tackles (two solo), three passes defensed and two interceptions across 85 defensive snaps in Sunday's 21-21 tie with the Steelers. You can't have a much better NFL debut than Ward, especially considering the fourth overall pick was matched up with Antonio Brown for the majority of the afternoon. He is the youngest player to record two interceptions in NFL history, but the rookie was more focused on the play that got away from him in the contest -- a 22-yard touchdown pass to Brown. "You always go into a game expecting to win," the cornerback said, "so it's frustrating." The gauntlet of talented receivers continues for Ward this Sunday, where he will match up with fellow Buckeye Michael Thomas.
Ward continued to practice without limitation Wednesday, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports. Ward's preseason was largely derailed by a back injury sustained in Cleveland's third preseason game against the Eagles, but the No. 4 overall pick appears ready to play entering Week 1. The rookie is likely to see significant playing time against the Steelers on Sunday.
Ward (back) retook the field for practice Saturday, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Ward departed Thursday's game early due to the back issue, but the back spasms diagnosis suggested he wouldn't be sidelined long. That's indeed the case, and the rookie cornerback -- who is taking aim at a starting role out of the gate -- should be set to challenge for a starting spot come Week 1.
Head coach Hue Jackson said Ward (back) will undergo an MRI on Friday, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Ward exited Thursday night's preseason game under his own power after his torso awkwardly twisted while he was attempting a tackle. The severity of the injury isn't yet known, but Friday's testing should help clarify how much time Ward may need to recover.
Ward (back) won't return to Thursday's preseason tilt against Philadelphia. Given it's the preseason, the Browns weren't likely to have Ward force his way through an injury. Though the specifics and severity of the ailment remain unclear, it isn't thought that the issue will be long term. Ward ends the night with three tackles in less than a quarter of action.
|3||09/21||New York Jets||13|
|6||10/14||Los Angeles Chargers||23|
|7||10/21||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6|
|9||11/04||Kansas City Chiefs||4|