Joe Haden injures ankle, may not be ready for 2016 season

By Vincent Frank

The Cleveland Browns offseason has not necessarily been something to write home about. The team lost multiple key players in free agency, including starting offensive linemen Alex Mack and Mitchel Schwartz.

It also saw last year’s No. 1 receiver Travis Benjamin bolt to San Diego in free agency.

Now comes this bit of bad news for the fledgling organization. Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden suffered an ankle injury during off-season workouts, an injury that might keep him out into the 2016 season.

“We don’t know enough about it (the injury), but we do know that Joe (Haden) and we were disappointed obviously to hear that Joe was going to need surgery,” Browns head of football operations Sashi Brown said Monday, via Cleveland.com. “The first we heard about it was probably a week before last, maybe about 10 days ago.”

It’s the same ankle that the former first-round pick injured in November, which kept him out for the remainder of the season. In addition to said ankle injury, Haden suffered multiple concussions during the 2015 campaign.

The biggest piece of information coming from Brown on Monday is that Haden did indeed undergo ankle surgery last week.

While Haden didn’t suffer any broken bones in his latest injury, he did damage some┬ácartilage and ligaments. That in and of itself should be concerning to the Browns.

Haden, 26, earned Pro Bowl appearances in both 2013 and 2014 before being limited to five games this past season.

He’s the most-talented member of the Browns defense, a clear indication that any absence lasting into the 2016 regular season would be a huge blow for the downtrodden franchise.