The Cleveland Browns have already ruled tight end Jordan Cameron out for this week’s game with a concussion, but at least star cornerback Joe Haden was able to return to practice today. Haden is dealing with a hip pointer that he suffered in last week’s game against the Chicago Bears, and the injury could have been more serious. Despite returning to practice today after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday, Haden’s status for this week’s game against the New York Jets is still totally up-in-the-air.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich, Haden will be a game-time decision this week, so there is little question that he will be able to travel to New York with the rest of the team. The only question is whether or not the Browns will allow him to play, because it’s also clear that Haden wants to be out there against the Jets.
If I were Rob Chudzinski and the Browns organization, then I would hold Haden out of this week’s game. While it’s always nice to get a win and play a star player if he’s healthy enough, there just isn’t much incentive to put Haden out there. He’s one of the team’s best players and is also a toss-up this week due to the hip pointer, so the Browns should be much more inclined to give him a week off. The Browns aren’t playing for more than pride and a better draft position, so there’s no reason to play Haden if he’s only 50/50. I don’t see the point in playing him this week, especially since the Jets passing attack isn’t good anyway. Plus, the Browns have an elite safety duo to make up for Haden’s absence.