Hue Jackson isn't worried about how Joe Haden suffered a setback during his offseason conditioning and doesn't see the need to put a timetable on when he expects the Pro Bowl defensive back to return to the field.
All Jackson knows is what he's seen through the first four days of offseason workouts, and that's been more than enough to amplify his excitement about the future he and Haden will share together.
"Let me tell you about Joe Haden," Jackson said early in his Wednesday press conference. "All I know is this guy is working his tail off right now."
Haden, who underwent surgery on his ankle last month, is coming off an injury-filled 2015 season that didn't go anywhere close to how he planned it. The two-time Pro Bowler battled injuries to his finger, hamstring and ankle while dealing with two concussions, the second of which sidelined him for the entire second half of the season.
Haden is expected to resume football activities during training camp and should be ready for the start of the 2016 regular season. Any skepticism that has been expressed about that timetable has only added fuel to the fire, Jackson said.
"Joe was probably a little disappointed when it came out that it was going to be a little while before he makes it back," Jackson said. "I am not going to put a timetable on it, how it happened, when it happened nor exactly when he will get back. I just know this, he is in this building every day working extremely hard and wanting to be back out there with his teammates and doing exactly what they are doing. There's not a guy in the building that is working as hard as he is. Trust me when I tell you that."
During a wide-ranging interview near the end of 2015, Haden expressed the deep frustration he felt and expressed how much he couldn't wait to be back on the field with his teammates.
"It is tough. It is really tough, especially when there is nothing I could do about it," Haden said. "In the previous years, the situation has been similar and the best I can do is go out there and play. That is all I can do. I can go out there and play and give it my best. This situation sucks a little bit more because you see it going on, you have been around it and I don't want to feel detached from my team."
Jackson's enthusiasm indicated he expects nothing like Haden's 2015 season to happen again.
"When Joe Haden is back, he is going to be back playing the way he always plays," Jackson said. "He is one of the best corners in the league."