Ward had two concussions as a rookie; the second forced him to miss the season finale.
“I feel good," Ward told ESPN's Mike DiRocco. "I may have to tap into my Deion Sanders-type tackling, but I feel good, though. I hate that I had gotten the concussions, but I’m feeling good though.”
The Browns kept Ward on the active roster for the final game of the regular season in part because he had been selected for the Pro Bowl as a rookie. He could not have played in the Pro Bowl if he had been placed on injured reserve. Video on NFL.com showed Ward taking part in the skills competition, including jumping through a wall made of foam bricks wearing a baseball hat. Friday he was on the practice field with his AFC teammates.
Ward’s first concussion came in a loss in Houston; he missed two games. He then got a second concussion making a tackle in a win over the Bengals, and missed the finale. The second concussion was not caused by a hit that seemed especially violent, but Ward’s hands were shaking when he stood up.
“No, it didn’t scare me,” he said. “I’ve just got to be more cautious and just get my head out of things. But sometimes the game happens so fast that you can’t always put your body in the best position, but just got to get my head out of there.”
Ward said he is unfazed about his future.
“I never thought that (it’s not worth it),” Ward said. “It’s the game. It’s football. It’s a game I love to play and I’ve been playing since I was a kid. Things happen and it just happened. I don’t think twice about it. I go out there every day and play. Just love to play football.”
Ward, the fourth overall pick in the draft and a Cleveland-area native, is the sixth Browns rookie to make the Pro Bowl, joining LT Joe Thomas (2007), LB Chip Banks (1983), KR Greg Pruitt (1973), WR Paul Warfield (1965) and RB Jim Brown (1957).