The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima on 92.3 The Fan joined by Daryl Ruiter Photo credit: 92.3 The Fan

It’s the first football Friday of the NFL season and everyone is giddy. Everyone except for 92.3 The Fan’s Cleveland morning show.

The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima was joined by 92.3 The Fan’s Cleveland Browns beat reporter Daryl Ruiter Friday morning. And during the show, Ruiter was asked if he thought cornerback Denzel Ward would be ready to go for the Browns season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon.

“I think so, yeah,” Ruiter said. “The two days that we’ve seen him and the brief 20 minutes or so that we get to watch practice, he looks perfectly fine. Saw him walking around the locker room yesterday, he was all smiles, so my answer is he’ll play.”

The 26-year-old Ward suffered a concussion during Cleveland’s preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was already the fourth concussion of Ward’s career as he enters his sixth NFL season this weekend, making head injuries a significant concern for the two-time Pro Bowler.

“Looks perfectly fine, we’re talking about a concussion,” Lima responded to Ruiter’s assessment of Ward. “This isn’t a hamstring injury, Daryl.”

In defense of Ruiter, he wasn’t downplaying the injury. Ward returned to practice this week, presumably after clearing concussion protocol. If Ward returned to practice and looked okay in practice, it seems reasonable to assume he will play Sunday. But Ruiter doesn’t need anyone to come to his defense, he took care of that himself.

“Lima, Lima, Lima, knock it off. Lima, knock it off. Lima, don’t come at me like that,” Ruiter ranted as Lima asked if he was a neurologist. “Knock it off. Knock it off. Knock. It. Off, Lima. I am telling you what I observed. Knock it off. Not in the mood for that today! Don’t come at me like that, that’s disrespectful! I’m relaying what I observed.”

“Oh god, Daryl, settle down,” Lima said in response to Ruiter’s rant. “Get over yourself. This is a fun show and you’re taking the fun right out of the show.”

Ruiter’s impassioned response did sound overly sensitive. But an NFL beat reporter doesn’t want to risk offering the narrative that they’re being dismissive of head injuries.

“Sometimes I need to be able to do my job and be given the opportunity to explain what I see and hear,” Ruiter tweeted after the tense exchange. “No, I’m not a neurologist, but I’ve been covering the NFL for over 25 years so I’d like to think I have some idea of what the hell I am talking about.”

Earlier this week, Ken Carman asked Ruiter the same question on 92.3 The Fan and the Browns reporter said he wasn’t optimistic about Ward being able to play against the Bengals because the concussion needed to be dealt with seriously. But Ruiter has since watched Ward return to practice and used that to assess the cornerback will play Sunday against the Bengals. Whether or not Ward should play after suffering his fourth concussion in five years is a different discussion.

[92.3 The Fan]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to