Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward has been ruled out of the team's Week 12 matchup against the Denver Broncos because of a shoulder injury, reports Scott Petrack of the Chronicle-Telegram. Ward had missed three straight practices prior to the update to his status on Friday. He injured his shoulder in Cleveland's 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.

It's been a successful, albeit injury-riddled season for the Browns' corner. He has also suffered concussion scares in both Week 6 and Week 9. Ward has two interceptions on the season to go along with one forced fumble and 29 tackles, key contributions to a Cleveland defense that has allowed the fewest total yards in the NFL.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Ward was selected fourth overall in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, where he was a Consensus All-American and first-time All-Big Ten in 2017.

Browns' safety Juan Thornhill (calf) and linebacker Anthony Jr. (hamstring) are listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

In the wake of Ward's absence and other injuries to the Cleveland secondary, cornerbacks Greg Newsome II and Mike Ford Jr. are expected to have bigger roles on Sunday.

It's a game that could be a handful for Cleveland's patchwork secondary. While Denver's 217 total points are 14th best among NFL offenses this season, their 19 passing touchdowns are tied for fourth-most in the league. The 7-3 Browns sit second in the AFC North in command of the AFC's fifth playoff spot. The 5-5 Broncos, who sit at 10th in the AFC and 2nd in the AFC West, desperately need a win Sunday to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.