Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Not the best day in Brownstown

It was a tough day on Wednesday for the Cleveland Browns.

First came the news that rookie running back Trent Richardson – only the No. 3 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft – is heading to Florida to have his left knee further evaluated by Dr. James Andrews. Richardson missed practice on Tuesday with soreness in the knee, which Andrews operated on in February. Richardson had an MRI and is visiting Andrews for a second opinion.

According to ESPN, Richardson will have arthroscopic surgery Thursday to remove a “hang nail particle” of loose cartilage that is irritating his left knee. The small particle, which has caused swelling, will be “cleaned up” by Andrews after he does a final evaluation.

At a minimum Richardson will miss Friday night’s preseason opener against Detroit, but the hope is he will return before the season opener on Sept. 9 vs. Philadelphia, “if not sooner.”

Then came a report from that cornerback Joe Haden – only the team’s best defensive player and someone who may be nearing Darrelle Revis status – is reportedly facing a four-game suspension for allegedly failing a drug test.

According to ESPN Cleveland, “multiple sources” (all unnamed) claim the NFL is reviewing the result of the test, with one source (also unnamed) saying that  Haden “tested positive for the prescription drug Adderall during a routine, off-season test” that the league adminsters as part of its policy to detect the use of anabolic steroids and related substances.

Adderall is a stimulant that is commonly prescribed to treat ADHD. It is also on the NFL’s list of banned substances.

If Haden did test positive, the league mandates a second test from the original sample. If that shows up positive as well, Haden would be suspended for the first four games of the regular season. Haden can appeal the suspension if one is handed down.

If this is true and Haden is suspended, the Browns will open the season without four starters on defense, with Haden joining suspended linebacker Scott Fujita, and injured defensive tackle Phil Taylor and injured linebacker Chris Gocong.

Just another day in the paradise that is Cleveland sports.

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