The Cleveland Browns could be without cornerback Joe Haden when he serves his four-game suspension for alleged violation of the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy ... just as soon as the NFL makes a decision on his appeal. It's been noted that Haden is likely to play on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles in the team's opener, mostly because it's getting late in the week and the NFL has not made a decision on his appeal.
Tom Reed of The Plain Dealer reported early on Thursday that it was in fact likely that Haden plays. He also had a quote from NFL spokeman Greg Aiello:
"We have not been instructed to prepare any announcements," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email today. "Other than that there is nothing else for us to report on this."
Being that it's Thursday, there's still a chance that something comes down with three days left, but it's not entirely likely. If Haden's suspension is upheld, it will likely come following the Week 1 matchup. There is a chance that the suspension is overturned or reduced as well, but the main point here is that Haden will likely play on Sunday.
If Haden is active, it's likely he'll be up against speedster DeSean Jackson, the No. 1 receiver for the Eagles. Haden was one of the top corners in the league a season ago, and any early help he can give the Browns before potentially serving a suspension would be a definite help.