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Browns starting cornerback Joe Haden confirmed today that Adderall use triggered his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, and he apologized to fans, his teammates and the organization.
“I took an Adderall, and I shouldn't have,” Haden said. “And I got suspended, and now I'm back.”
After serving the suspension, Haden returned to the Browns’ headquarters this morning and met with coach Pat Shurmur. Haden will be re-inserted into the starting lineup Sunday when the Browns (0-5) host the Cincinnati Bengals (3-2).
“I hurt a lot of people,” Haden said. “I hurt myself for sure, but I hurt a lot of people with a decision I made, and I just want everybody to know I really sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart. It’s no script. Nobody tells me what to say. I just really feel that, and I want everybody to know that it was a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes, but my mistake happened to hurt a lot more people than I would have thought.”
Haden did not elaborate on his Adderall use when asked about the rumor that he took the drug while partying in Las Vegas. Adderall is often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it’s also commonly abused to fight fatigue.
When asked if he had a prescription, Haden said, “I appealed [the suspension] because of the situation where me and my agent [Drew Rosenhaus] had an angle that we were going to go at it. The way that I ended up taking it that we thought we'd have been able to get out of it, but it didn't work.”
Haden said he and his girlfriend of three years got engaged during his recent downtime, but he’s not a drastically changed man. Still, he believes he learned a lesson as a result of the suspension.
“The only thing different is I'm going to be engaged,” Haden said. “You're going to see the same Joe, just having a good time. But I think I've grown from it, of course, ‘cause you never really know what little things could impact so many people, and I've just got to make sure I know that I'm not the only one in my circle. I have a whole lot of people in my family, Haden Nation, the Browns, everybody, so just being a little more smart.”
Haden said he worked out during the suspension at his family’s gym, Haden’s Sports and Performance, in Maryland. He hopes his conditioning will ward off any rust, and he’s eager to face Bengals standout wide receiver A.J. Green on Sunday.
“Perfect timing,” Haden said. “So at least when I come back, I can try to make a statement going against somebody in the division like him. I feel like once I come back and just do my thing this game, then I'll just be back.”
Another corner out
Cornerback Dimitri Patterson said he's been told he'll be out for "a couple weeks" after suffering a low ankle sprain early in the game Sunday when one of the New York Giants’ receivers fell on it.
Patterson played through the injury in the first two quarters, but he said it swelled too much for him to continue in the second half.
Starting middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson attended team meetings today after suffering Sunday what Shurmur described as a concussion.
“He’s the biggest part of our team on the defensive side,” rookie linebacker James-Michael Johnson said. “I think he’ll be fine, though. He looked good today. He looked fine.”
Shurmur declined to provide an update about defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin’s lower leg injury. … Shurmur said tight end Alex Smith, who hasn’t practiced or played since suffering a concussion in Week 2 against the Bengals, has been at the team’s facility and they spoke today.