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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Browns' Haden awaiting word on possible suspension


CLEVELAND (AP) - Joe Haden's case remains mysterious and unresolved.

The Browns cornerback, and one of Cleveland's best players, is awaiting word from the NFL on a possible four-game suspension for failing a drug test. On Tuesday, Browns president Mike Holmgren revealed in a local radio interview that Haden has already had his appeal hearing with the league.

Now it's up to someone else,'' Holmgren told 92.3 The Fan.And we don't know.''

Holmgren's comments were the first confirming Haden's suspension, which was first reported by last month. Haden reportedly failed a test for taking Adderall, which is on the league's banned substance list.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email that the league ``has nothing to report at this point.''

It's possible the league is still weighing Haden's appeal and a ruling may not be known for days, if not weeks. In the meantime, Haden is wondering if he will be able to play in Sunday's season opener against Philadelphia.

``I have no idea,'' Haden said when asked on Monday.

At this point, it appears Haden's safe for this week, but it's possible he may still have to sit out some games. The league does not announce suspensions until the appeal process is completed in order to protect the player's privacy.

The Browns can't afford to be without Haden for long. They're already missing three defensive starters - defensive tackle Phil Taylor and linebacker Chris Gocong are injured and linebacker Scott Fujita is serving a three-game suspension for his role in the Saints' bounty scandal - and Haden is their best coverage defender.

"That's a blow,'' cornerback Dimitri Patterson said of the possibility of losing Haden. ``But it's professional football. It's not Pop Warner. You've got to step in and be a professional, simple as that.''

Patterson would likely start in Haden's place with Buster Skrine and rookie Trevin Wade getting more playing time.

Haden was drafted by the Browns with the No. 7 overall draft pick in 2007. He had six interceptions as a rookie, but none last season.

On Monday, Haden said he's had his best preseason as a pro.

I feel like this is the best I've played at corner in my life,'' said Haden, who was recruited as a quarterback by Florida but switched to defense as a freshman.I've become comfortable at the position, and I'm starting to understand concepts and a whole lot, so the game is starting to slow down.''

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