NFL suspended Browns CB Joe Haden four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Cleveland's defense already couldn't stop the run, and now threatens to be among the league's most vulnerable against the pass minus its top defensive back and overall defender. The Browns' bye isn't until Week 10, so Haden will be eligible to return in Week 6. He'll miss matchups with the Bengals, Bills, Ravens, and Giants. The Browns often use Haden to "shadow" opposing No. 1 receivers, so A.J. Green, Stevie Johnson, Torrey Smith, and Hakeem Nicks all get breaks. Cleveland's next best cornerback is fading 33-year-old Sheldon Brown. If Sunday's opener against the Eagles was any indication, likely fill-in Buster Skrine is going to get torched in nickel packages over the next month. Dimitri Patterson will start, but kicks to the slot in sub-packages.
Mon, Sep 10, 2012 05:17:00 PM