cleveland:denzel ward just quiet leaving team after discovering all  secret behind.’ Read More

The Browns’ No. 1 cornerback was listed as questionable to play Sunday against the Bears (5-8) at Cleveland Browns Stadium. He was listed as questionable last week then was inactive for the win over the Jaguars, the third straight game he missed with a shoulder injury.

“He continues to progress every single day,” coach Kevin Stefanski said Friday. “We will use the next 48 hours to see whether he can make it.”

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The Browns (8-5) will definitely be without safety Juan Thornhill (calf), center Ethan Pocic (stinger), defensive end Ogbo Okoronkwo (pectoral) and linebacker/special teamer Jordan Kunaszyk (calf), who were ruled out. Linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. (knee) and defensive tackle Jordan Elliott (concussion) were listed as questionable.

Okoronkwo has a torn pectoral and is expected to miss the rest of the season, but he and the team are still determining whether he can try to play through the injury.

“No final confirmation just yet,” Stefanski said.

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Elliott returned to practice Friday after being concussed vs. the Jaguars.

Walker “tweaked” the knee during practice.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Stefanski said.

Thornhill, who missed two games earlier in the year with a calf injury, was a late scratch last week after aggravating the calf during pregame. Pocic left the game on the second possession. Kunaszyk was injured Thursday in practice.

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With Grant Delpit on injured reserve, the Browns will start a pair of backup safeties. They’re expected to be Ronnie Hickman and D’Anthony Bell.

Martin Emerson Jr., Greg Newsome II and rookie Cameron Mitchell would again get more time if Ward doesn’t play. Emerson had two interceptions last week and Newsome one.

In 10 games Ward has two interceptions, 10 passes defensed and a forced fumble.


Nick Harris will start for Pocic. It will be Harris’ third career start and first since 2021. He missed all of last season after a knee injury in the preseason opener.

“Obviously it’s been a long year dealing with my injury, but I’m just glad to get back on the football field and just play my role this week and do my best to lead upfront and lead the team to a win,” he said.

Harris is a favorite of the coaching staff.

“I couldn’t say enough positive things about Nick Harris,” assistant line coach Scott Peters said. “He’s the epitome of the S.T.A.R.T. acronym. He’s smart, he’s tough, accountable, resilient and such a team player. You want a whole roster full of guys like that.

“He’s done a great job in terms of taking whatever role he has and just maximizing that. We love Nick.”


Veteran safety Duron Harmon got the call to join the Browns as his wife, Christine, was heading into the delivery room to give birth to their fifth son, Daxton.

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“I said, just let me get the baby out first. And then they were good about it,” Harmon said of the Browns. “They’ve been really good about letting me go see my family when time has permitted. And I was here Wednesday morning, the first flight out, and in practice as soon as I got here.”

Harmon, 32, signed to the practice squad Nov. 22 after Rodney McLeod was lost for the season with a torn biceps. Harmon was signed to the active roster this week after Delpit was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury that required surgery. He’s expected to be the third safety Sunday.

His family remains in Chicago.

“She’s definitely busy, but as much of me playing football is my dream, it’s her dream, too,” Harmon said of his wife. “I got a great partner and she allows me to still chase this dream that I still have.”


Receiver Elijah Moore wasn’t happy with the Jets last year and welcomed the March trade to the Browns. He hasn’t had the overwhelming impact some expected but has career highs with 50 catches for 543 yards, adding a touchdown.

He’s also appreciative of his new teammates.

“Being a part of this team, I tell my family all the time, it’s been nothing short of a blessing,” he said. “The camaraderie, the relationships that I had. I’ve never, never been a part of something like this in my entire life.

“So I lean on these guys like I’ve never leaned on a human before. I’ve been able to get through things off the field that I maybe handled different and it’s a true testament to everybody in this locker room and the coaches and how they handle things here.”


Delpit being out for at least the final four games of the regular season is being felt in multiple ways.

“Obviously having a career year,” safeties coach Ephraim Banda said. “The group feels him, the defense feels him in the huddle, out of the huddle, in the meeting rooms and at practice. He’s a perfect guy for this room. Culturally he fits this place.

“He wants to play in the playoffs. I told the group, we got to do whatever it takes to get there so we can give him a chance to do that.”

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.


INDIANAPOLIS – The 2018 NFL Combine closed out with a bang and possibly the best group of the entire week. Throughout Monday, the defensive backs who worked out exceeded expectations running much faster than anyone thought possible. Many left Indianapolis with improved draft grades. Here are the day’s biggest winners.

DB Dane Cruikshank: Cruikshank was possibly the biggest winner from the defensive back class at the combine. His 40-yard dash time of 4.42 seconds was almost two-tenths faster than scouts anticipated. His 25 reps on the bench press tied for the best mark from the group. Cruikshank switched between cornerback and a hybrid safety/linebacker position during his time at Arizona then looked terrific as a pure cornerback during Shrine Game week. Measuring 6-1 and 205 pounds, he exits the combine with a grade at least two rounds better than the one he came to Indianapolis with.

CB Denzel Ward: Ward, rated as my No. 1 cornerback in the draft, did not participate in position drills after tweaking his ankle yet answered two major questions. First, he measured in just under 5-11, which quelled concerns about his height. Ward then scorched the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium, timing the forty in the low 4.3s. Pencil in Ward as the first cornerback selected in April’s draft where he will be a top-12 pick.

CB Mike Hughes: The Central Florida junior was incredibly impressive during position drills. He displayed great body control, a smooth style, and showed receiver-like hands. His footwork and backpedal was also the stuff of a next-level cornerback. Hughes’ 40 time of 4.52 seconds was good enough for scouts as he continues to ascend up draft boards.

CB Jaire Alexander: Alexander was one of just over a handful of corners who ran faster than 4.4 seconds in the 40 during his workout. After measuring just under 6-0, he timed as fast as 4.37 seconds then looked solid during positional drills. The junior has starting potential for the next level and heads toward the draft with a solid second-round grade in my opinion.

CB Carlton Davis: Davis was receiving first-round chatter entering the combine and it’s only gotten louder after his workout. He measured a strong 6-1 and 203 pounds, completed 16 reps on the bench, then ran a solid 40 time of 4.53 seconds. Davis looked terrific in position drills displaying a quick backpedal and great footwork. Teams now believe Davis is the type of prospect who could start as a rookie in the NFL.

CB Parry Nickerson: Nickerson could well be the most underrated corner in this year’s draft and he answered a lot of questions about his physical ability at the combine. He measured 6-0 and 180 pounds during weigh-ins which were taller and bigger than scouts expected. He clocked 4.32 seconds in the 40 which was .15 seconds better than expected and represented the fastest time of the day matched only by Donte Jackson of LSU. Nickerson’s game film speaks for itself and scouts now believe he has starting potential in nickel packages.

CB Holton Hill: Hill, who sat on the sidelines late last season due to a suspension, intrigued scouts with the ball skills displayed when he was on the field. He dazzled with a terrific workout. Hill timed 4.49 seconds in the 40, a terrific mark for the corner who measures 6-2 and 200 pounds. Teams will thoroughly inspect Hill’s background but if everything clears he will be selected in the draft much earlier than analysts think.

S Troy Apke: Apke blew up the combine and ran much faster than anyone could have imagined. Scouts estimated he would run a 4.6 in the 40 entering the season but on Monday he clocked in at 4.35 seconds. Apke is a tough, instinctive player and it’s just a matter of coaching him to play to his speed.

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