Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR.
Boca Raton, FL – Cornerback Joe Haden’s ankle surgery was the result of an injury suffered in an offseason workout, the Browns said on Monday.
And they don’t know if Haden will be ready to play for the 2016 season opener.
“Too early to tell at this point,” Sashi Brown, executive vice president of football operations, said at NFL meetings on Monday.
“We don't now enough about it, but we do know that Joe and we were disappointed, obviously, to hear that Joe was going to need surgery.”
Brown said the club learned about the injury a week before Haden had surgery in Charlotte, NC, on March 16. The surgery was performed by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson.
Brown said Haden did not break the ankle, but needed surgery to repair “ligaments and cartilage” damage.
“We understand that he went through the procedure with Dr. Anderson in Charlotte and will need rehab that will take him through voluntary offseason and the mandatory program, the OTAs,” Brown said. “We're looking forward to him getting back. I know Joe will put the work in. We'll obviously be in good communication with him throughout.”
Haden originally injured the ankle in the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 1, but Brown said it was “unclear” if the surgery was a result of that injury or the recent one.
“We haven't dug into it in that amount of depth,” Brown said. “[Haden] had mentioned he had hurt his ankle in I think the Cardinals game initially. That he had some sprain of the ankle. Whether it's tied to that I don't know. I know he did injure it in an offseason workout.”
Coach Hue Jackson seemed unfazed by the loss of his Pro Bowl cornerback and highest-price player during the lengthy offseason weeks of installation of his program.
“We're going to get him back at some point. In the meantime there's still guys on our team that we need to grow and get better, and that's what our staff is here to do and that's what I'm really excited about, whoever's there,” Jackson said.
“We're not going to worry about the people who are not there. We want them all back, but the people there, we're going to coach them. I'm excited to watch the staff go out and take these guys.”