Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden and safety Donte Whitner have both been placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol after sustaining head injuries during Sunday’s 34–20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the team announced.
Haden missed the Browns’ previous two games with a concussion before returning on Sunday. He was kicked in the head during the third quarter on Sunday and diagnosed with another concussion. Rand Getlin of NFL Network reports the team does not have a timetable for Haden's return.
Whitner sustained a concussion on the next possession. Both players left the game following their injuries and did not return.
Free safety Tashaun Gipson said losing Haden and Whitner, who are both starters, was a “huge blow.” Cornerback Pierre Desir and strong safety Ibraheim Campbell are listed behind Haden and Whitner on the Browns’ depth chart.
“You’ve got two guys who are tops at their position,” Gipson said. “The saying in this league is ‘Next man up.’ We can’t harp about it. We’ve got a super short week and the guys who are replacing them have big shoes to fill.”
Cleveland’s record fell to 2–6 with the loss. The Browns will play the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday.
- Erin Flynn