The Browns will be without their top cornerback on Sunday against the Patriots, but another starter at the position will make his season debut. The team announced on Friday that Greedy Williams will be activated from IR in advance of their Week 6 matchup.
Williams missed the beginning of the season due to a hamstring injury. That added further to the ailments he has battled thus far in his career, and left the team shorthanded in the secondary. The former second-rounder missed one-quarter of his rookie campaign in 2019, then the entirety of the following season with a shoulder injury. His size and college pedigree, not to mention Cleveland’s current CB situation, could see him take on the large role he was expected to carry upon entry to the NFL.
“Everything has been crisp and clean,” Williams told reporters on the topic of his return. “Just out there making plays and re-establishing myself. I build that trust back with the team, and they see I’m ready. That’s all that matters.”
No. 1 cover man Denzel Ward has been ruled out with a concussion, after he exited the Browns’ Week 5 loss to the Chargers early. That will leave a significant hole in the team’s defense, as Ward has notched one interception (returned for a touchdown) and six pass breakups this season. Williams could immediately take on his perimeter duties, though the team will no doubt seek to ease him back into action. The Browns will also have Greg Newsome and Martin Emerson available as starters at corner.
They will not, however, have both elements of their starting pass-rush tandem. After returning to game action last week, Jadeveon Clowney will once again be sidelined in Week 6. That will mark the second missed contest this season for the veteran, although Myles Garrett was able to log a usual snap share in his return from a car accident last Sunday.
With a number of moving parts on their defense, the Browns will join New England in trying to improve to .500 on the campaign, while, in Williams’ case, looking to move past a plethora of injury concerns.