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Browns optimistic to get Joe Haden back this weekend

It took Joe Haden four seasons to record his first interception return for a touchdown.

So when he saw rookie cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun — who stepped in for an injured Haden in a loss to the Dolphins last weekend — score after picking off Ryan Tannehill, all he could do was smile.  

"Oh my god, he took my spot," Haden said, laughing. "I'm just super happy for him. He came in and he was just super ready. He's been studying tape, I could tell just doing drills he's a good player."

But now as the Browns prepare for Sunday's game at Washington, they're hoping Haden returns to the lineup after sitting last weekend with a groin strain.

Haden, who met with reporters Wednesday afternoon, said there's no timetable for his return, but he's "feeling better" and "coming along" with the help of the training staff.

For Haden, the setback is a frustrating one following a two-interception display against the Ravens in Week 2.

"I was hoping to play every game this season. I was working my butt off to be out there with my guys. It's disappointing. It's upsetting," he said.

"You want to be out there but you physically can't. It's really tough for me to not be out there with my guys, especially trying to really be a leader for this team, knowing I have to make certain plays. It just sucks not being able to be out there."

After all, that outing against Baltimore also served as something of return to form after ankle surgery in March and an injury-ridden 2015 season.

"I was happy to just be able to go out there and just make plays. That's what I love to do. That's when I'm in my comfort zone when I'm out there on the field," he said.

Second-year nose tackle Danny Shelton said he had no doubt Haden would get back to his Pro Bowl ways once healthy. "I always knew he was going to be a dominant player. Just to see him make those plays, it is really calming," he said. "You have that confidence in him. You know he has confidence in himself."

And Haden, who practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, hasn't let this latest setback shake that.

"All the rehab, all the treatment, all the extra hours that I put in going through the surgery and being able to go out there and play, it's reassuring. I felt like I always, I still had it," he said.

"It didn't feel like I lost a step or none of that. Going out there and being able to perform is definitely, it made me feel good, but I'm just ready to get back out there and keep going."​

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