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Injured Browns depleted in secondary with Ward injury

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns starting strong safety T.J. Ward's right foot remains immobilized inside a cast, leaving Cleveland's secondary with a very noticeable limp.

Ward missed his second day of practice Thursday with the injury he sustained last week in Houston, and coach Pat Shurmur said there's a "very good chance" the hard-hitting safety will not play Sunday against the St. LouisĀ Rams.

"I don't want to rule him out yet," Shurmur said.

But that seems inevitable with Ward's foot still in a cast, just three days from kickoff. The Browns have not provided any specifics of Ward's injury or the results of an MRI exam taken Monday.

Ward's injury is the latest blow for the banged-up Browns (3-5), who had eight players sit out Thursday's practice with four others limited.

Not only is Ward injured, but Usama Young, who splits time at free safety with Mike Adams, has been slowed by an aching hip that has kept him out of practice the past two days. His status is unknown for Sunday's game as is nickel back Dimitri Patterson, who didn't practice and may have to sit out his second consecutive game with a knee injury.

Young's injury could force the Browns to give rookie Eric Hagg his first career start. Hagg was inactive for Cleveland's first six games after undergoing knee surgery in the preseason. He made his pro debut two weeks ago at San Francisco and played in a limited role and on special teams last week in the 30-12 loss to the Texans.

Notes: WR Mohamed Massaquoi continues to have post-concussion symptoms. He was sent home for the second straight day after not feeling well. Massaquoi suffered his second head injury in 13 months on Oct. 23 against Seattle. ... RT Tony Pashos (ankle), LB Kaluka Maiava (knee), DE Jayme Mitchell (chest/ankle) and DB Ray Ventrone (hamstring) were limited in practice.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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