Pro Bowl CB Denzel Ward will miss his first game of the 2021 season when the Browns take on the Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Ward, who suffered a hamstring injury in the Browns' Week 7 win over the Broncos, was among three players ruled out for Sunday's AFC North matchup. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin) and S Richard LeCounte III (discipline) were the others.
WR Odell Beckham Jr. (shoulder), DE Jadeveon Clowney (ankle/groin/knee), CB A.J. Green (groin), DT Malik Jackson (knee), DE Takkarist McKinley (groin) and FB Johnny Stanton (calf) are considered questionable. QB Baker Mayfield (left shoulder), who will start Sunday, and RB Nick Chubb (calf) did not receive injury designations, meaning they are poised to return to the lineup.
Ward did not participate in practice this week. Without him in the lineup, the Browns will once again call upon Greedy Williams for extensive duty. Williams started three games while Greg Newsome II recovered from a calf injury earlier in the season and filled in for Ward for the final part of the Broncos win.
"I've been very thankful for Greedy and the way he's performed this year," said Jeff Howard, the Browns' pass game coordinator and defensive backs coach. "The challenge of being injured and what he's faced over the last year, he's really done a good job with that.
"Whenever he's had his opportunities to play, he's come out and played. I appreciate his consistency with the reps he gets every day in practice and the reps he gets in the game. He's made the most of his opportunities and I'm sure he'll be ready to go this week."
Stefanski said he didn't have a feel for the status of Clowney, who did not practice this week, or McKinley, who suffered his injury during Thursday's practice and didn't practice Friday.
Beckham participated in practice throughout the week after playing through some noticeable pain against the Broncos.
"He's battling through it," Stefanski said.
Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers