Browns head coach Mike Pettine calls criticism of Joe Haden ‘unwarranted’

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BEREA – Browns head coach Mike Pettine is calling the criticism surrounding Joe Haden’s game status from Sunday unwarranted. Haden did not play against the San Diego Chargers because of a broken finger.

“I will bear some of that blame in detailing the procedure and how it went,” said Pettine on Wednesday during his regularly scheduled news conference in Berea. “Joe made the decision because he couldn’t be 100% and he felt it would hurt the team if he played.”

When Haden didn’t play after being listed on the injury report all week as probable, the NFL looked into the matter. The league takes injury reports seriously, when a guy is listed as probable, that means there is a 75% chance the player will play on game day. Mike Pettine said they presented the facts to the league on exactly what happened in this situation.

“He practiced and we expected him to play based on how practice went, it’s a procedural thing. We don’t see this as a big deal and I doubt the league will as well,” said Pettine.

Many started to question Haden for his decision not to play.

“I think it is unfortunate because Joe is one of the faces of our franchise, nobody questions his toughness, his leadership, how important the Browns are to him, what being a Cleveland Brown is to him,” said Pettine who reached out to Haden after the Browns player started to receive flak for missing Sunday’s game.

“I misspoke, Joe wanted to be out there,” Pettine said. “He wanted to play, but just in his assessment he did not want to put the team at risk knowing that he could not be at the percentage in his heart that he knew he couldn’t get to.”

Joe is expected to practice this week ahead of Sunday’s game in Baltimore against the Ravens.