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Haden's return big boost for Browns 'D'

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Posted Oct. 12, 2012 @ 3:50 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Browns CB Joe Haden isn't eligible for the Pro Bowl after serving a four-game NFL suspension for a positive Adderall test. Nevertheless, we're told it would not be a surprise if he played at Pro Bowl level for Cleveland upon his return to the lineup. We hear Haden is motivated to make the most of a season shortened by his four-game ban.

Haden, 23, clearly is one of the rising stars at his position. Circumstance has stopped his rise to the game's very elite — he didn't start until late in his rookie season of 2010, and though he played well a season ago, he didn't have an interception. Then came the four-game suspension, which was a tremendous blow to the Browns. 

The Browns' pass defense, one of the NFL's best a season ago with Haden in the lineup for all but one games, proved very vulnerable without him in Weeks 2-5, allowing 10 TD passes in four losses. Now, Haden is back, giving a struggling defense a needed lift.

"When you add a good player to the lineup, it’s obvious just watching him play," head coach Pat Shurmur said leading up to Week Six. "I think the other players around him feel that. I think you build from there.”

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