Browns cornerback Joe Haden has been suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, the league announced this evening.
Haden’s suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the active roster Oct. 8.
As part of its policy, the league did not announce any further details about Haden's violation. ESPN Cleveland reported Aug. 8 that Adderall use triggered Haden’s failed drug test in the offseason.
Haden repeatedly declined to comment on the report.
In a radio interview last week, Browns President Mike Holmgren told 92.3 The Fan that Haden had an appeals hearing regarding his suspension. He obviously lost the appeal.
Haden, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, will miss the Browns’ games against the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants. He will lose four game checks -- about $1.356 million -- as a result of the suspension.
Dimitri Patterson will start in Haden’s absence. Sheldon Brown, the team’s other starting cornerback, suffered an injury to his shoulder and neck area Sunday in the Browns’ 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but coach Pat Shurmur said he thinks Brown will be available for Week 2. If he’s not, Buster Skrine would likely start opposite Patterson.
Haden played Sunday and compiled six tackles and an interception, which he returned 50 yards. Last season, he led the team with 19 passes defensed to go along with 65 tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.