BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward will play Sunday against the Giants with a broken right thumb.
Ward, who sustained the injury during the first quarter of Thursday night’s 23-16 loss to Baltimore, underwent surgery to have 9 screws inserted in his right hand.
“I hate missing games and I can play with it,” Ward said. “I think having the surgery early helped me out. I don’t think anything else can happen to it, so I’ll be able to play.”
Ward is officially listed as questionable for the game, will wear a partial cast or as players call it ‘club’ but will have a few fingers free to help him tackle.
“I’ve got a broken thumb so it’s not normal,” Ward said. “I’m going to try to play as normal as I can. I have no thumb so it’s going to be kind of hard.
“It’s [just] a thumb so it’s not like my whole arm is gone so I’m just going to go out there and play like I normally do.”
Ward leads the Browns with 27 tackles this season. He also has a sack and a forced fumble.
“I think he’s played very well, and we’re anticipating that he’ll continue,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “We feel good about how physical he is. We feel good about what he does within the structure of our defense.”
Ward has been working hard to take the next step in his third season at strong safety.
“I’m just playing within myself,” Ward said. “I’m just doing what I have to do – studying a lot more, knowing my opponents better, working on my communication with the other players and just really focusing on every play.
“I always play hard but I just feel a little bit more mature and like the game is slowing down.”