The Cleveland Browns may be playing a team with a very poor record in the Houston Texans on Sunday, but it will be a huge day for them, as quarterback Deshaun Watson will make his regular season debut with them.
An injury report was released for both teams on Thursday, and it revealed that a couple of key Browns players did not participate in practice.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) December 1, 2022
Ward, the Browns’ star cornerback, has been banged up this season, and he has appeared in just eight of the team’s 11 games thus far.
So far this season, he has registered seven passes defended, one interception and one recovered fumble that he took back for a touchdown in Week 3’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
One of the Texans’ few bona fide weapons is veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who has 520 receiving yards through 10 games this year.
He has had over 1,000 yards in six of his prior eight seasons, and Ward will be needed to help hold him in check.
Perhaps more concerning is Njoku’s health status.
He has been dealing with a high ankle sprain since Week 7’s game versus the Baltimore Ravens, but he now has a knee injury that caused him to sit out practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
Njoku had perhaps the offensive play of the season with his one-handed touchdown catch late in regulation versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday that forced overtime, where Cleveland prevailed.
He is third on the team with 464 receiving yards and second in touchdown passes with two this season.