The Browns will make a game-time decision about whether starting cornerback Joe Haden will play Sunday when they visit the Dallas Cowboys, coach Pat Shurmur said this afternoon following practice.
Haden missed practice today and Thursday after injuring an oblique muscle Wednesday. Haden was not hurt because of contact, Shurmur said.
“He’ll be a game-time decision,” Shurmur said, adding Haden will travel with the team to Dallas. “I think we listed it as an oblique strain. It’s something that can happen with a very harmless movement, and we’ll just see where he’s at. He feels better today, and on game day, we’ll decide if he can go.”
If Haden doesn't play when the Browns (2-7) face the Cowboys (4-5), the defense will be extremely thin at cornerback. Sheldon Brown and Buster Skrine would start, and rookie Trevin Wade, a seventh-round draft pick, would cover the slot receiver in the nickel package.
“[Wade is] one of the rookies that’s been in here that’s done an outstanding job in my opinion of getting up to speed,” Shurmur said. “He gets better every time he gets an opportunity to either practice or play.”
Undrafted rookie Johnson Bademosi is the only other healthy cornerback on the roster. He has played special teams, not defense, this season.
“He’ll be available as a corner for sure, and he’s had a good week of practice,” Shurmur said. “He’s another one of those guys that’s developed. He’ll continue to develop. He just hasn’t had the on-the-field reps that Trevin’s had.”
Ready to rumble
Starting defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin is ready to play after missing three of the past four games with an injured calf, Shurmur said.
“Yeah, Rubin had a great week of practice,” Shurmur said.
Special-teams ace Ray Ventrone did not practice today. Ventrone said he suffered an injury Thursday during special-teams drills. He’s listed with a hand/calf injury but wouldn’t reveal any details. He said he doesn’t know whether he’ll play Sunday.
“We’ll have to see there,” Shurmur said. “That could be another adjustment to the roster. He’s a very dependable guy that finds a way to make plays. And if for some reason he can’t play, just like if [Haden] can’t play, the next guy in has gotta do a good job.”