Browns CB Denzel Ward dealing with injury before Week 1 vs. Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals might not be the only team heading into Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns without a key defender.

For the Bengals, it’s defensive end Joseph Ossai, though he continues to progress nicely from the ankle injury suffered during the preseason.

For the Browns, it’s a little more precarious, with Denzel Ward still in concussion protocol as of Monday’s practice.

Ward, the fourth overall pick a few years ago and man tasked with lining up against the likes of Ja’Marr Chase, has been in the protocol since August 26.

Granted, there is a lot of time for Ward to clear protocol between now and kickoff on Sunday. But missing one of a handful of practices before a season opener is a little different than missing one or two practices in the middle of a season.

If Ward can’t go or isn’t 100 percent, it could swing the tug-of-war that is the Battle of Ohio, given the problems Chase and his fellow wideouts give fully healthy defenses.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire