CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Denzel Ward made quite the introduction during his NFL regular-season debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium last Sunday, and the league certainly took notice.
After defending three passes, registering six total tackles, including two solo stops and four assists, and intercepting two throws from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the 21-21 tie between the AFC North Division rivals, Ward was one of five players nominated for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week Award.
Ward is competing against New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes, Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay and New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold for the Week 1 honor.
Click here to vote for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week Award.
As the Steelers were driving deep into Browns territory, Roethlisberger tried to force a throw into triple coverage on first-and-10 from Cleveland’s 18-yard line, but Ward was there to step into the passing lane and collect his first career interception.
Ward intercepted the pass at the Cleveland 10-yard line and was stopped for no gain on a return attempt.
Already with one interception of Roethlisberger, Ward stopped a Pittsburgh drive in Cleveland territory and collected his second takeaway of the game with less than a minute remaining in the first half of play.
On second-and-10 from the Browns’ 37-yard line, Roethlisberger took a shotgun snap and fired a short pass down the right seam for tight end Jesse James. However, the throw slipped through James’ hands and into Ward’s arms for his second interception of the game.
Ward caught the interception at Cleveland’s 28-yard line and returned it to the Pittsburgh 46 before he was tackled.
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