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Haden, Browns Await Word From NFL On Appeal Of Suspension

By DARYL RUITER, 92.3 The Fan Browns Beat Reporter
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Cornerback Joe Haden was suspended 4 games by the NFL for failing a drug test this offseason / (Photo by Myles Simmons CBS Cleveland)

Cornerback Joe Haden was suspended 4 games by the NFL for failing a drug test this offseason / (Photo by Myles Simmons CBS Cleveland)

DarylRuiter_300 Daryl Ruiter
Cleveland Browns beat writer and member of the Pro Football Writers of...
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Updated 9/4/2012 7:05 p.m.

BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden and the team are on stand by.

Browns president Mike Holmgren confirmed to ’92.3 The Fan’ Tuesday morning that Haden was suspended by the NFL for a failed drug test this offseason and they are waiting to hear from the league office.

“I never been able to figure that whole thing out,” Holmgren told Kiley and Booms on 92.3 The Fan. “He’s had his appeal hearing and now it’s up to someone else. And we don’t know.”

Whether or not Haden will be available for Sunday’s season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles remains to be seen as they await the ruling on Haden’s appeal.

“I suspect though if we haven’t heard by now that we’ll have him for the first game,” Holmgren said. “I think but I don’t know for sure.”

RELATED – Audio: Mike Holmgren with Kiley and Booms on 92.3 The Fan.

Haden was notified that he was suspended for 4 games in August prior to his appeal

“I don’t know, I have no idea,” Haden said Monday when asked about the forthcoming suspension.

The NFL did not announce the suspension by the close of business Tuesday which means that the league is still reviewing his appeal and he may continue to play until they rule on it.

There is still a chance that the league could rule by weeks end but as the days go by this week, the higher the probability that he will play week 1.

If Haden’s appeal is denied by the NFL, the suspension would take effect immediately and he would have to sit out the next 4 games or however many the league announces – if they decided to reduce it, which is unlikely.

Should Haden’s suspension be overturned as a result of the appeal, there will be no announcement and he will play the entire season because the league keeps failed drug tests and the suspension process confidential.

Haden’s teammates have been supportive of Haden as he goes through the process with the NFL.

“In the locker room, everybody is been cool,” Haden said. “[They say] Just keep going, just keep playing, keep practicing. That’s what I like about my teammates – it’s like nothing is going on. They’re like my family.”

If Haden is suspended, Dimitri Patterson will likely replace him on the field.

Patterson returned to practice Monday for the first time since sustaining knee and ankle injuries in the preseason opener on Aug. 10 at Detroit.

He expects to play against the Eagles Sunday regardless of Haden’s situation.

“It felt good to be back out there,” Patterson said. “You never really know how fully you’ve recovered from an injury until you get out in a live practice so I feel pretty good.

“You can always tell the first day and you get a good gauge of where you’re going to be. I felt real good, real good.”

Buster Skrine, who got additional reps at corner in camp and the preseason, as well as Trevin Wade will also see their workload increase.

The suspension means that Haden is ineligible for the Pro Bowl as well as any other individual awards for the 2012 season.

Despite having the suspension hanging over his head entering the season, Haden feels he is entering the prime of his young career.

“Coming into this season I’m more ready than I’ve ever been to play the position,” Haden said. “In the offseason I worked on my off technique. I was always pretty good at press but I worked on my off and then when I came in now I’ve just been watching film and been just not afraid to get beat.

“If you play not to get beat then that’s how you let people catch comebacks and stuff on you. But if you play what you see and just go for it, and that’s how I play now.”

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