The loss was the least important part of the game as injury concerns piled up throughout. WR/KR Jakeem Grant left on the very first play of the game with what could be another season-ending injury. Linebackers Jordan Kunaszyk (knee) and Tony Fields II (concussion protocol) left the game early.
Kicker Cade York, who had a potential game-winning kick blocked, hurt his foot earlier in the game.
All of those could pale in comparison to CB Denzel Ward once again being placed in concussion protocol. That news came out after the game had ended:
#Browns Kevin Stefanski said Denzel Ward is in concussion protocol.— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) August 26, 2023
Ward has suffered a number of concussions during his time in the NFL. His physical talking style has been a concern since his rookie season. If he is once again diagnosed with a concussion, it will be his fourth in the NFL:
If Denzel Ward has a concussion, that would be his fourth since his NFL debut in 2018 for the Browns cornerback :— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) August 26, 2023
• Dec. 8, 2018
• Dec. 21, 2018
• Oct. 9, 2022
• Aug. 26, 2023
A bit concerning for the former Buckeye entering Year 2 of his five-year, $100 million extension.
Unlike other injuries, concussion protocol is very individualized and uncertain. Cleveland has two weeks to prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals and their high-powered passing attack. If Ward is diagnosed with a concussion, at least the NFL schedule allows for the extra week before the start of the season.
While Browns fans are primarily concerned about the impact on the upcoming season, many on social media are concerned for Ward’s long-term health as well. The best news for both is if the cornerback is cleared from the protocol with no diagnosed concussion.
We will keep you up to date on Ward’s status as soon as we have more information.