After missing the last three games, Denzel Ward is set to return Sunday against the Dolphins.
Ward, a 2021 Pro Bowl cornerback, confirmed Thursday he'll be back in action for Week 10.
"Yes, sir," he said with a smile when asked if he'll play. "Can't wait."
Ward had been sidelined due to a concussion he suffered in Week 5 against the Chargers when he attempted a tackle on a rushing play and hit his head on the ground. He returned to practice for the first time Monday and admitted that missing nearly a month of the season wasn't easy.
"It's been rough," he said. "I've just been in the protocol and just going through all of the steps in there, trying to get cleared. Just glad to be out of it and back with the team."
Ward said he used a hyperbaric chamber and light therapy, two new pieces of recovery technology the Browns installed at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus last offseason, to assist in the recovery process.
A trusted leader and top playmaker in the secondary before his injury, Ward is tied with M.J. Emerson Jr. for the team lead with six pass breakups and has one interception this season, a pick-six in Week 3 against the Steelers.
The Browns will need Ward's talents against the Dolphins' pass game, which is second in the NFL in passing yards per game. All-Pro WR Tyreek Hill leads the league in receiving yards and has already topped 1,000 yards in the first nine games, while Jaylen Waddle is not far behind and sits fifth among receivers with 812 yards.
"I think we match up well with those guys," Ward said. "We just have to go out there and try to find a way to get a win."
Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the Miami Dolphins
With Ward back, the Browns should have one of the deeper cornerback rooms in the league through the second half of the season. The room is now injury-free and should be in great shape with Ward and Greg Newsome II, its top two starters and supported by Greedy Williams, Emerson and A.J. Green. Emerson, in particular, has provided quality depth to the secondary in Ward's absence, while Green flashed with an interception on the first opposing drive in Week 8 against the Bengals.
Ward's return, however, should lighten the load for the group and keep them in good shape to face a string of talented receivers in coming weeks — after facing Hill and Waddle this weekend, the Browns will go against Bills WR Stefon Diggs and Buccaneers WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
"Having a talent like Ward is definitely going to make everyone's jobs easier," Newsome said. "It's definitely great having him back."