Denzel Ward: I was pretty sick with COVID-19

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Denzel Ward is one of Cleveland’s two best defensive players, and he’ll be back this week for the team’s divisional-round matchup with the Chiefs.

But Ward’s been out since Dec. 31 when he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He said Wednesday that he experienced some significant symptoms after testing positive for the virus.

I was pretty sick,” Ward said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “Just flu-like symptoms, all of the body aches and chills and stuff like that. I was pretty laid out in my house.”

Ward noted he was surprised that he tested positive because he often wears a mask.

“It was a little rough. I lost my sense of smell and my sense of taste, so that was really different,” Ward said. “All of the food just tasted the same. I was really just picking food for the texture of it because I couldn’t really taste it. It wasn’t great. I’m glad I got over it and hoping everybody still continues to stay safe and wears a mask and tries to beat it.”

In his third season out of Ohio State, Ward had two interceptions, 18 passes defensed, and one forced fumble in 12 games this season.