Joe Haden’s four game ban for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs kicks in Sunday after being able to play in week 1 because of an appeal. Obviously the NFL like like all professional leagues does not take violating their PED policy lightly nor should they. This is a big blow to a Browns defense that can ill afford to lose any starters let alone their best overall defensive player. As he was used to do this past Sunday Haden often “shadows” the opposing teams best receiver. This will hurt the Browns mightily on Sunday when they go up against one of the league’s best young talents A.J. Green. Chances are aging veteran Sheldon Brown will be called upon to attempt to slow down Green. All signs point to this being unsuccessful for Cleveland. There is not much of a let down in young receiver talent during the Haden suspension with the Bills, Ravens, and Giants the three teams following Cincinnati on Sunday.
It will be interesting to see starting Sunday if the Browns game plan for ways to take out the opposition’s top player in Haden’s absence. It will be no easy task considering the lack of depth in this secondary. Look for the Bengals to exploit this major weakness early and often on Sunday.