The Browns at 0-5 had a welcome sight on Monday, as CB Joe Haden returned from a four-game suspension.
The former first-round pick sat after he tested positive for the stimulant Adderall, leading him to be banned for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
“I’d like to apologize to my fans, Haden Nation, the Cleveland Browns organization, the front office, all the coaches,” Haden said. “I hurt a lot of people. I hurt myself for sure, but I hurt a lot of people with the decision I made and I just want everybody to know that I really, sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart.
“There’s no script; nobody told me what to say. I just really feel that and want to let everybody know it was a mistake. My mistake happened to hurt a lot more people than I thought.”
Haden will help out a Browns D that was gashed for 502 total yards — 243 on the ground — in Sunday’s 41-27 loss to the Giants in New Jersey.
“It wasn’t any intent to hurt the team or hurt anybody in that kind of way,” Haden said. “It was just a young man making a decision that I shouldn’t have made. I honestly just want to move forward and just come out here and play.”
Before he served his suspension, Haden made six total tackles and collected one interception — which he returned for 50 yards.
Last season he didn’t have a pick, but started 15 games, made 65 tackles and broke up a team-leading 19 passes.
“Nothing’s like being out here with my boys on Sunday,” Haden said. “I came in early today. I was probably one of the first people in here just to be around the dudes, go to see my equipment people, holler at all the coaches, tell them I missed them and I was happy that everybody was happy to see me.
“Being able to sit there and watch the games is way different than being out there playing. I see what the fans see, all the replays and how the games could just (hurt) your stomach. When I’m playing, when the offense is on, I’m sitting down, trying to get corrections for the defense. When you see every snap from every angle, it’s a whole different look and I didn’t like that look at all. I wanted to be out there playing.”