In a season marred by a seemingly endless string of injuries, the Cleveland Browns have suffered another unfortunate loss.
Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward is expected to miss the team’s Week 12 matchup against the Denver Broncos this Sunday in Colorado.
That’s a huge blow to the Browns’ secondary, as Ward was having a great season with 29 tackles and 2 interceptions.
However, the rest of the secondary, led by veterans like Greg Newsome II, Grant Delpit, and Juan Thornhill, are anything but negative.
In a recent interview, Newsome II said that, while you can’t replace a player like Ward, defense is a team effort, so it’s up to other guys to step up in his absence (via Mary Kay Cabot on Twitter.)
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) November 25, 2023
Cleveland’s “next man up” mentality has been instrumental to their 7-3 record and their ability to overcome a string of injuries.
However, while the offense has been tested repeatedly this year in that respect, the defense has fared much better in terms of staying healthy.
As such, Sunday will test the depth of the secondary, as well as the defenses ability to generate turnovers without Ward who is arguably their best playmaker.
Backup cornerbacks Mike Ford and Kahlef Hailassie will get an opportunity to make an impact and take on more prominent roles on defense, and second-year cornerback Martin Emerson Jr., will likely step into the starting role in place of Ward.
Together, these players will be tasked with stopping the Broncos led by Russell Wilson, who is arguably the most efficient quarterback in football, and one of the hottest passers in the league.