Haden practiced on a limited basis Friday after sitting out the previous two days with the bruised hip he suffered this past weekend in a 38-31 loss to the Chicago Bears. He said whether he plays when the Browns (4-10) visit the New York Jets (6-8) on Sunday would basically come down to a game-time decision, though he will definitely make the trip. Haden is listed as questionable on the injury report.Cleveland's defense has struggled all season, but the one area where they have excelled is in shutting down opponents top receivers, that is largely attributable to Haden's great work in coverage.
During a conference call Wednesday, Ryan said it “would be a break” for the Jets if Haden, the Browns’ No. 1 cornerback, sits out against an offense led by rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who ranks second in the NFL with 21 interceptions.
Ryan even joked about Haden’s absence being an item on his “Christmas list.”
Told about Ryan’s wish after practice Friday, Haden laughed and said, “Man, I’m bad Santa.”
It makes a lot of sense that Rex thinks highly of Haden. Beyond being a good NFL corner, Rex's brother Rob was the defensive coordinator in Cleveland at the time when the Browns took Haden under Eric Mangini. While there were mistaken reports inadvertently propagated at the time by Rex that Rob Ryan wanted Kyle Wilson more. Haden has clearly turned out to be the better talent through four years and Geno would be wise to pay attention to where Haden is deployed all game -- assuming he plays.