The wait is over: The NFL informed the Cleveland Browns on Monday that cornerback Joe Haden has been suspended four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
ESPNCleveland.com reported a month ago that Haden was notified of the suspension after he tested positive for the prescription drug Adderall during a routine test in the offseason.
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Browns president Mike Holmgren confirmed as much last week, saying the team still was waiting to hear back from the NFL after Haden's appeal.
The league now was spoken. Haden's suspension begins immediately.
It's a huge loss for the Browns' defense. Haden arguably is the team's best player on either side of the ball. He gives defensive coordinator Dick Jauron a rare luxury; Haden consistently matches up with the opposition's best receiver. Haden battled DeSean Jackson in Week 1.
The Browns face off against receivers like A.J. Green, Stevie Johnson, Torrey Smith and Hakeem Nicks over the next month. Cornerback Sheldon Brown, 33, was injured during Cleveland's loss to Philadelphia in Week 1, and the team's depth will be seriously tested.