Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden expects to be back for Week 1


Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden said he expects to be on the field for the Week 1 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.

It is a known fact that 2016 is a rebuilding year for the Cleveland Browns. But even with this being true, veteran players are going to play a huge part in holding the team together and avoiding another embarrassing record in the 3-13 or 2-14 realm.

Joe Haden is one of those players who needs to give the team a sense of identity at the outset of the season. He is coming off ankle surgery, but he is still planning on a Week 1 return, according to an article on

"And Haden, who underwent ankle surgery in March, is almost ready to make his return to the field.“I’ve been working hard, I’ve been here the whole offseason and the training staff, we’ve been doing a really good job and we have a really good schedule and just getting better every day,” he said.Haden reiterated he expects to play in the Browns’ season opener against the Eagles on Sept. 11, and, in an ideal world, would even welcome the prospect of seeing reps during preseason games. On Thursday, he participated (and completed) the team’s conditioning run."

Completing the conditioning run is a great first sign, especially for someone coming off ankle surgery.

While Haden would like to get some reps in preseason, it may be better if he just waits until the season begins to get on the field. There are 10 days between the final preseason game and the regular season opener, which would give him plenty of time to make sure he is completely healthy and ready to go for an entire NFL season.

Haden only appeared in five games last season due to several different injuries, and his absence showed. There were those who thought his skill was deteriorating, but the injuries did nothing to help his play.

Justin Gilbert was drafted in 2014 to play opposite Haden, but that plan turned out to be a complete failure. Gilbert will be given another chance this year, but it is hard to put too much faith in his abilities.

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Players like Tramon Williams, Pierre Desir and K’Waun Williams should all see significant playing time in 2016, but it sure would be great to have a healthy Haden back on the field once again.