Browns rule out Denzel Ward, Jadeveon Clowney against Patriots

BEREA, Ohio -- Two of the Cleveland Browns' top defensive players, cornerback Denzel Ward and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, will miss Sunday's home game against the New England Patriots because of injuries.

Ward suffered a concussion last weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers and didn't practice all week while in the protocol.

Clowney has been battling an array of injuries, including an ankle sprain. After sitting two games with the ankle injury, Clowney played against the Chargers but then was unable to practice all week because of ankle, knee and elbow injuries.

Despite going into the season with high expectations for its defense, Cleveland ranks 30th in the NFL in defensive efficiency and now will be without Ward, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, and Clowney, who has 10.5 sacks since joining the Browns last season.