Within minutes of each other, stories broke about rookie running back Trent Richardson visiting the infamous Dr. James Andrews because of ongoing problems with his surgically-repaired knee and Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden facing a drug suspension.
We still don’t know what the deal is with Richardson. He had his meniscus repaired earlier this year, but he’s experienced swelling in his knee at Browns camp and he might need a bit of a clean-up. If he gets arthroscopic surgery, he should be out between two and four weeks and his availability for the start of the season is in question. Then again, maybe this is just a precautionary visit. He could be back practicing in days. In other words, it’s too early for Browns fans to start dooming and glooming about Richardson.
We have a much better picture of what Haden faces. The third-year player is emerging as one of the NFL’s elite, “shut-down” cornerbacks, but he might not see the field for four games at the start of the season. He has reportedly tested positive for drugs–only, it’s not the illegal drug of choice for most players in the NFL (marijuana).
Haden tested positive for the prescription drug Adderall. It’s possible that he has a prescription to use Adderall, but the NFL prohibits use of the drugs.
Haden can appeal the decision, as soon as it’s official. He’s likely facing a four-game suspension, which would cost him about $1.35 million in game checks.
Haden is known as one of the good guys in the NFL. Earlier this year, he went to prom with a fan who asked him on Twitter if he’d be her date. It’s heartening to know that he wasn’t busted for smoking pot, drinking and driving or beating his wife (like so many NFL stars seem to have been caught doing this off-season). Still, it’s disappointing that he would allow himself to get caught taking a drug that he probably didn’t need to be taking.
Then again, this is the Cleveland Browns that we’re talking about. Anything that can go wrong for the Browns inevitably will. It’s stunning that their new quarterback, Brandon Weeden, hasn’t been eaten by a shark or abducted by aliens yet.