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Haden continues treatment, aims to play

Posted Dec 26, 2013

Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden is continuing to get treatment on his injured hip with the goal of playing Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

How important is it to Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden for the team to get a victory in the regular-season finale Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field?

It is so important to Haden to be on the field against the Steelers that despite the Browns’ 4-11 record and no chance of making the postseason, he has continued to get treatment for a hip pointer he suffered two weeks ago against the Chicago Bears and re-aggravated in last week’s 24-13 loss to the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

“I’m still just trying to get treatment, trying to get it back right,” Haden said. “I don’t even know. We’ll find out when I go back in there. I’m just coming in every day, still trying to get treatment, still trying to get back right because it’s not where it needs to be.

“I was able to play (last week). It was hurting before, but I can’t make any excuses.”

With a win Sunday, the Browns would eliminate the Steelers from playoff contention, but ending the season with a victory is above all else on Haden’s list of importance.

“Our season hasn’t been what we’ve wanted it to be,” Haden said. “I’m not worried about trying to be a spoiler. I’m trying to win a game. If we can win it, and it ends up spoiling what they’ve got going on, it is what it is, but I’m just trying to get a W.

“We just want to win. It’s not about going into the offseason. It’s like, ‘Our season is not what we wanted, at all. Let’s win a game, just for us. Don’t worry about spoiling anybody’s stuff. We’ve got to go out here and prove that we are the team that we thought we could be this whole year. It’s mostly, for me, to win a game.”

Haden enters Sunday’s game confident the Browns can end the season with a victory if they get back to what made them an effective defensive unit earlier in the year.

As a team, the Browns have improved from 25th to ninth in passing yards allowed and 23rd to 10th in total yards allowed.

Individually, Haden is tied for the team lead with four interceptions and one return for a touchdown, which was a 29-yard score in a 41-20 loss at the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 17. He has made 60 total tackles, matched a career high with 54 solo stops, and has defended 21 passes.

Haden has defended 67 passes in 57 career games, and his 1.18 defenses-per-game average since joining the Browns in 2010 ranks second in the league among all players with 50 or more pass breakups since the 1994 season.

“We have all of the players,” Haden said. “We just have to play to a certain type of level. The caliber of our play has to be the same every week. We have to be consistent.”