BEREA – Browns cornerback Joe Haden returned today after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
He apologized to fans, coaches, teammates and the front office and said he was welcomed back with open arms. He had been prohibited from practicing and being in team headquarters since Sept. 10.
He confirmed the suspension was for Adderall and called it a “dumb mistake,” but thought the punishment was excessive. The NFL classifies Adderall as a stimulant.
He confirmed he got engaged to his girlfriend of three years because he had time during the four weeks away from football.
He said he’s been working out a ton and expects to be in top form Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals and receiver A.J. Green.
“Perfect timing,” Haden said. “I can try to make a statement going against somebody in the division like him.”
Part of the punishment includes being ineligible for postseason awards, including the Pro Bowl.
“It’s in the book,” he said. “I did what I shouldn’t have done, so whatever punishment I’m willing to take. I just know I’m going to have Pro Bowl numbers by the end of the year.”
Haden said it was tough to watch the games on TV and said he learned from the ordeal.
“I think I’ve grown from it because you never really know what little things could impact so many people and I’ve got to make sure I know that I’m not the only one in my circle,” he said.
** Cornerback Dimitri Patterson said he suffered a low left ankle sprain Sunday in the 41-27 loss to the Giants and was told he’ll be out a “couple of weeks.” He was on crutches and in a boot.
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