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Dog days of training camp: Browns get Denzel Ward back as others are sidelined

Denzel Ward
Posted at 5:57 PM, Aug 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 07:04:27-04

BEREA, Ohio  — Monday marked Day 13 of Browns training camp and it's clear that the dog days are here. While some guys return from injury, others aren't so lucky.

On Monday, cornerback Denzel Ward was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list after spending the past several weeks sidelined with a foot injury sustained in OTAs this spring.

Ward will be eased back into team activities and was not full go Monday, but still a welcomed return for the team.

“It's great. He's been working very hard inside and out here. Ready to get back on the field. Obviously, we're excited to get him back out there," head coach Kevin Stefanski said before practice. "We will work him along appropriately.”

Stefanski said they'll wait and see if Ward will be full-go in time for joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles scheduled for Thursday and Friday—but they may be without some other players come those days.

During Monday's practice session, wide receiver Mike Harley Jr., who has been having a standout camp, walked off the field with a staff member. Just moments earlier, rookie defensive end Isaiah Thomas, who impressed in the first preseason game Friday against the Jacksonville Jaguars with two sacks and a tackle for loss, also walked off the field with a staff member.

Harley suffered an ankle injury and Thomas had a hand injury and the severity of the injuries is unclear at this time.

Earlier in the day, the Browns offensive line took yet another hit as center Dawson Deaton—the Browns seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft—was carted off the field. Deaton is the latest Browns offensive lineman to be carted off, with starting center Nick Harris taken off the field in Friday's game with a knee injury.

Harris is "likely" to require knee surgery, which would sideline him for the season, but the team is still awaiting information before making that decision.

While he isn't injured, Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett has been away from the facilities for the past two practices as he deals with a personal matter for which the team has excused him. Stefanski said he is not sure how long Garrett will be away.

Other players—like rookie wide receiver Michael Woods II, defensive end Chase Winovich and cornerback Greg Newsome II—are still progressing through hamstring injuries. Cornerback Shaun Jolly worked on the side Monday with a groin injury, tackle Elijah Nkansah is dealing with a shoulder injury, Sheldon Day remains on the Active/Non-Football Injury list with a back injury, and tackle Jack Conklin worked on the side as he aims to be full-go after knee surgery this offseason.

Those players aren't expected to be out for much longer, but their absence highlights the point of camp the Browns are in.

The dog days of camp are strenuous, and the workload will only increase as the Eagles come into town. But with most of the starters to rest for the second preseason game, the Browns will hope to have better luck in the health and availability department as the regular season fast approaching.

Camryn Justice is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.

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