CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns were hoping to have one of their defensive mainstays back on the field against the offensive-minded Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC North Division clash at Paul Brown Stadium Sunday afternoon, but a groin injury might bring those plans to a halt.
Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden missed last week’s 28-26 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium because of the groin injury, and was listed as “doubtful” for this weekend’s game against the Bengals.
“I am getting better,” Haden said before the final injury report was released Friday. “Getting better, just working hard every day trying to rehab these groins.
“I am trying to do whatever I can to get out there, but it just is what it is. I can’t really control how that feels, but my goal is to be out there on Sunday for sure.”
This marks the second time Haden has suffered a groin injury this season.
The hits just kept on coming for the Browns as they prepared to take on the Miami Dolphins in an inter-division game at Hard Rock Stadium in south Florida back in September.
Already down a pair of quarterbacks because of Robert Griffin III’s broken bone in his non-throwing shoulder and Josh McCown suffering a left shoulder/collarbone injury in a 25-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens the following week, the Browns were without Haden’s services in the overtime loss to the Dolphins.
“It is the other groin,” Haden said. “Happened the same exact day. It was on a Thursday of practice, and then, it is just going through and just playing defense, opening up, and then, you just feel it pull. Something like that, Coach Hue usually sees it, so he pulls me out of practice once it happens, and then, I just go to try to get rehab.”
The biggest challenge for Haden is being able to cut and run, which is of utmost importance for a cornerback charged with defending a perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver in A.J. Green and an emerging, returning tight end in Tyler Eifert.
“I am in strict rehab right now,” Haden said. “I am trying to get to that part. Coach Hue (Jackson), he does a great job. It is on him. It is his call so he is able to go out there with us before and just see where we are at, see how we are moving.
“He does a really good job of that, but all me and Terrelle (Pryor) basically can do is just do as much treatment, as much rehab, be here as much as we can trying to make sure we can be out there.”