When the Cleveland Browns took the practice field, cornerback Joe Haden was running in drills and reportedly did not look negative impacted by the hip pointer he suffered against the Chicago Bears. It is still unclear if he will be able to play against the New York Jets but the chance has gone up significantly today after he spent yesterday’s practice on a bike as he worked to heal.
Haden has had a season of peaks and not valleys, but relatively dips. For the most part, he has played at an extremely high level and many feel he has taken steps to being an elite corner in the NFL. There are times when he will get caught peeking into the backfield and take some competition for granted.
For example, he had a great game against A.J. Green, one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. In that game against the Cincinnati Bengals, he had two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he got beaten over the top by Antonio Brown and while that happens, it was a big mistake in coverage. He ended up peeking into the backfield and anticipating a crossing route from across the field, which allowed Brown to get separation and become wide open for an easy touchdown.
Haden provides a huge boost for the Browns if he is able to go against the Jets and rookie quarterback Geno Smith. The 4-10 Browns will be going to play the Jets in New York where they hope to end an ugly 1-8 stretch. Meanwhile, Rex Ryan is lobbying for his job as the Jets sit at 6-8, so his players, who always seem to love playing for him, will have that extra motivation to try to help him stay at least one more year as the head coach of the Jets.