Is Denzel Ward’s injury a cause for concern in training camp?

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(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Cleveland Browns cornerback Neighborhood Denzel closed the team’s final minicamp training session in mid-June with an injury scare.

The newly extended cornerback suffered a foot injury which forced him to leave the training ground and not return.

Fortunately, an MRI showed no structural damage, so Ward is considered good for boot camp when it opens in late July.

So is that a non-issue or should fans be worried?

It’s actually a bit of both, and here are the reasons why.

1. This particular injury seems minor but…

This particular injury appears to be a non-issue; however, this is the number of injuries the Browns deal with each season, especially when they start in the preseason.

The 2020 pre-season was particularly difficult because the two Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit were out for the season before it even started.

Williams suffered a nerve injury in his shoulder and Delpit tore his Achilles tendon.

Worse still, both players were injured in the same practice.

Although injuries are part of the game and all teams deal with them, there is still a level of control that should be applied to the strength and conditioning departments of NFL teams, especially the Browns.

2. Non-contact injuries happen too often for browns

hunt kareem suffered a non-contact leg injury last season that caused him to miss half of games.

Donovan Peoples Jones suffered a groin injury in a pregame warmup against the Denver Broncos last season.

Were these chance injuries inevitable or is there something more?

3. Playing through injuries is another issue

There were too many examples last season of players trying to play through injury.

Mayfield Baker and Jedrick Wills Jr. were the most notable.

Whatever the reasons these players kept playing, it’s usually not a viable solution, especially when injuries occur early in the season, as the injuries to Mayfield and Wills did.

4. New facilities could help

We know the Browns are expanding facilities for players to train and recover.

John Johnson III has spoken about having yoga available for his recovery when he played with the Los Angeles Rams, something the Browns didn’t offer when he arrived in 2021.

The team said certain services were prohibited during COVID-19; yoga was one of them.

It looks like Browns players will have plenty of other therapies to choose from when the new state-of-the-art regeneration zone is complete.

The installation is expected to be complete by the time training camp opens in late July.

Conclusion

Any off-season injuries are important because it’s not the time when players are in the pads or in full contact, so injuries shouldn’t happen at all.

In Ward’s case, the Browns just signed him to a monster contract extension, and they need him to be healthy and successful in order to make a 2022 postseason streak.



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