Gregg Williams said he was "anxious" Monday to learn more about the status of defensive back Denzel Ward and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi in the wake of the injuries they suffered in Sunday's loss to the Texans.
Ward was placed in the league's concussion protocol after suffering an injury during Sunday's first half. Ogunjobi injured his bicep early in the game, tried to play through it and was ultimately sidelined for the entire second half.
The Browns initially thought Ward suffered a stinger during Sunday's second quarter but were quick to learn he'd instead been concussed. The first-round rookie is tied for the team lead with three interceptions and has been one of the Browns' most valuable defenders, often playing every single snap when he's healthy.
"It is one of those things that at that corner position, especially him, you have to be down," Williams said, referencing Ward's tackling approach. "It was one of those things right there at the heat of the moment of the battle, at the point of attack, where he was up and a guy kind of dinged him on the side of the head."
Ogunjobi, who has emerged as a force in the middle of Cleveland's defensive line, injured his arm early in the game and attempted to play through it. His toughness impressed Williams, who has seen plenty of defensive linemen deal with similar injuries.
"We will see the significance of it, the seriousness of it, but he is a real tough guy," Williams said. "If he can play through it, he is one of the few guys we have that can do something like that."
-- A potential Ward absence from next week's game coincides with the expected return of Terrance Mitchell.
The veteran cornerback is eligible to return to the field after missing the previous eight games with a broken wrist. He was designated to return from injured reserve late last month and has gone through two weeks of practices.
Before the injury, Mitchell was a pleasant surprise on Cleveland's defense, working his way from backup to starter midway through training camp and carrying that momentum into a strong start to the 2018 season.
"He has had two good weeks of practice," Williams said. "We had kind of a formula, both from physically and the mental part of it, but making sure that everything is right. He will take the next jump up this week. We will see. He has been involved. He has been travelling with us and doing everything.
-- Williams said he liked the focus and spirit of the team during a Monday full of meetings -- the team's first in a few weeks. The Browns had a Victory Monday last week and were coming off a bye the previous week.
Some players, Williams said, came straight to the team facility upon returning from Houston late Sunday.
"The guys that have been in here have been very good, have been very determined, I would say, and very focused," Williams said. "Owning up to the point where we can play better in some areas and played pretty good in others. The things we have to do is correct the wrongs and continue the rights, and even improve more of the rights and put ourselves into a better position to win close games."