Joe Haden isn’t sure if he’ll play Sunday but the good news was he was on the practice field Wednesday.
Haden said in the locker room prior to practice that he didn’t think he would be practicing, but he participated during drills throughout the portion of practice that was open to reporters.
“Super frustrating,” Haden said of the groin injury he sustained late in practice last Thursday. “I was hoping to play every game this season. I was working my butt off to be out there with my guys. It’s super disappointing and upsetting because you want to be out there but you physically can’t. It’s very tough for me not to be out there with my guys and especially trying to be a leader for this team and knowing I have to make certain plays. It’s tough not to be out there.”
Head coach Hue Jackson seemed pretty optimistic about Haden’s status this week.
“Very much so. He was able to practice today on a limited basis,” Jackson said. “It was good to have him out there and back running around. We will see where we are as he goes through the week.”
Haden, who missed 11 games last season – the last 3 on injured reserve – 1 due to a rib and finger injury and the rest because of 2 concussions and an ankle injury, was a late scratch Sunday after Hue Jackson shut him down prior to the game. He had to watch from the sidelines as the Dolphins threw for 319 yards in the 30-24 overtime win that saw Miami receiver Jarvis Landry haul in 7 catches for 120 yards and a score.
“It’s always tough when I feel like I can make a difference in the games and not being out there sucks,” Haden said. “It’s tough knowing the fans and the team and everybody wants me to be out there and I want to be out there more than anybody. Not being able to be out there sucks. If you physically can’t be out there there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Even more frustrating for Haden was the fact he was coming off of a brilliant performance against the Baltimore Ravens that was a flashback to his Pro Bowl seasons in 2013 and 2014. He broke up 4 passes, picked 2 others off and recorded 4 tackles in the 25-20 loss to the Ravens.
“I felt like I still had it,” Haden said. “I didn’t feel like I lost a step or any of that. Going out there and making plays made me feel good.”
Stronger Shelton – Nose tackle Danny Shelton is off to a strong start in his sophomore season with the Browns.
“That’s going to be my mindset for the season, just continue to improve and continue to do my job,” Shelton said. “[You’re] not really going to see anything from me as far as like acting super happy about this until we start winning games. Because that’s the mindset, we have to win and we’re expecting to win. Until we get that job done, it’s going to be just days of just grinding.”
Shelton, who drew criticism as a rookie for not being the dynamic impact player on the defensive line the team was expecting after selecting him 12th overall in the 2015 draft, is starting to make his mark in 2016 after dropping 10-15 pounds and changing his diet and workout routines.
“I feel like I’m more focused this season and have more determination to produce,” Shelton said.
Shelton tied for 10th on the team in tackles with 36 – 19 solo – a year ago. Through 3 games he’s fourth on the team in total tackles with 16 – 9 solo – through 3 games.
Discipline Awaits – Right guard Alvin Bailey, who was arrested in North Royalton early Monday morning and charged drug abuse, drug paraphernalia and failure to comply with a lawful order in addition to a citation for OVI, speed and driving an unsafe vehicle, faces discipline from the NFL and team.
“We will see. Obviously, this is a league matter,” Jackson said. “Those kind of things that happen, I’m not very excited about it at all. There will be consequences for it, but we have to follow league protocol as far as that is concerned. We will do what we feel is right.”
Bailey told North Royalton police he drank on the team charter flight home from Miami as well as a Strongsville business which is a violation of team and league rules. Jackson declined to say if Bailey, who is due in North Royalton Mayor’s Court Thursday morning, will be benched this week.
Different Vibe – The Browns are 0-3 again, but you wouldn’t know it walking into the Browns locker room and talking with players. It’s the fifth time in 10 seasons for left tackle Joe Thomas that the team has dropped their first 3 to start the season but the 9-time Pro Bowler can sense a difference this time around, one he’s not felt before and for that he credits head coach Hue Jackson.
“I think one thing that Hue does really well as a head coach is keep that positive attitude, keep that energy,” Thomas said. “Every Wednesday’s the same. It’s full of energy, it’s exciting, it makes people happy, look forward to coming into the building no matter what happened the week before. You wipe the slate clean, you come in and you attack your job just like you’re undefeated.”
Injury Report – DNP: LT Joe Thomas (not injury related/rest), QB Josh McCown (shoulder), S Ibraheim Campbell (hamstring), WR Corey Coleman (right hand), C Cam Erving (chest/lung), DE Carl Nassib (hand), OLB Nate Orchard (ankle), CB Tramon Williams (shoulder); LIMITED: RB Isaiah Crowell (knee), CB Joe Haden (groin), DL Stephen Paea (back); FULL: NT Danny Shelton (chest)
Jackson noted Wednesday that McCown, Nassib, Coleman and Erving have already been ruled out this week. QB Robert Griffin III (shoulder) is on injured reserve but worked with trainers on the side.