The Browns arrived back from their bye week Monday with some great news on the injury front.
CB Denzel Ward returned to practice Monday for the first time since Week 5 when he suffered a concussion against the Chargers. RG Wyatt Teller also returned for the first time since Week 6 when he suffered a calf injury.
"I think they're trending appropriately," head coach Kevin Stefanski said after practice. "I think they're both different injuries, obviously. But I think they're both making steps."
A 2021 Pro Bowler, Ward led the Browns with six pass breakups in the first five games and recorded one interception — a pick-six in Week 3 against the Steelers. He also has 21 tackles and one tackle for a loss in his fifth NFL season.
Ward's return should be another big boost to a defense that has shown significant improvements after a slow start to the season. The Browns rank 15th in the league with 331.4 yards allowed per game after holding Ravens QB Lamar Jackson to a season-low 179 scrimmage yards in Week 7 and following that up by limiting QB Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense to 229 total yards in Week 8.
With Ward back, the Browns should lack no shortage of depth at cornerback. Greg Newsome II, Greedy Williams, M.J. Emerson Jr. and A.J. Green all helped fill the void in his absence, with Emerson and Green each stepping up as backup players to contribute in big ways. Emerson tallied four pass breakups in the last three weeks, while Green secured a big interception against Burrow in the first quarter last week against Cincinnati.
Teller, who was also a Pro Bowler a year ago, was building another stellar season before his injury and ranks fourth among qualified guards with an overall PFF grade of 85.3.