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Browns won’t have CB Denzel Ward, but activate three for Wild Card round

Browns still dealing with COVID-19 issues as they prepare for the playoffs.

Cornerback Denzel Ward #21 of the Cleveland Browns lines up prior to the snap during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns will get back TE Harrison Bryant, LB Malcolm Smith and S Ronnie Harrison from the COVID-19 list, but will be without CB Denzel Ward and CB Kevin Johnson, who remain on the COVID-19 list and won’t be cleared for the first round of the playoffs, per Tom Withers.

Ward is a big part of the Cleveland Browns pass defense and the Pittsburgh Steelers are a pass happy team. Ward has been dealing with a calf injury that kept him out four games, but he was able to return in Week 15 and would have been ready to go if not on the COVID-19 list.

The Browns will also be without their head coach, Kevin Stefanski. He has also been placed on the COVID-19 list and will not be allowed communications with the team during the game as well as 90 minutes before. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will take over play-calling for their Wild Card matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night.