The Duel

Browns Set to Be Without Two Stars Against Ravens in Week 14

Max Staley
Denzel Ward has been ruled out for the Cleveland Browns' Week 14 MNF game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Denzel Ward has been ruled out for the Cleveland Browns' Week 14 MNF game against the Baltimore Ravens. / Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have been one of the hottest teams in the league recently, winning five of their last six outings. Though there's still a ways to go, Cleveland essentially looks like a lock to secure its first playoff berth since 2002.

And a win against the division-rival Baltimore Ravens in Week 14 would all but guarantee the Browns that spot. However, that task just got a whole lot tougher, as Cleveland received some bad news about Denzel Ward and Austin Hooper's availability for Monday Night Football.

Ward will miss his third-straight game due to a lingering calf injury, while Hooper is trending that way himself because of a neck issue.

The third-year cornerback is already one of the league's best players at his position, receiving a stellar 75.5 grade from Pro Football Focus. That has him as the PFF's 13th-highest graded CB among qualified players.

Hooper, meanwhile, has been limited by injuries all year, playing just 10 games. He's been a decent safety blanket for Baker Mayfield when healthy, though. It could be tough to move the chains against this stout Ravens' passing defense without Hooper.

Accounting for the injuries, Cleveland is a 3-point home underdog against Baltimore, per FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.