The optimism that followed the purchase of the team by Jimmy Haslam III last week has been buried in an avalanche of bad news.
It began with the loss of LB Chris Gocong for the season to Achilles surgery. A one-two punch of potentially devastating news then hit the Browns on Wednesday. Neither story has been confirmed by the team, but it appears RB Trent Richardson will require arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and CB Joe Haden could be suspended for four games for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.
Haden has tested positive for the prescription drug Adderall, according to multiple sources. A second positive test from the same sample would result in a four-game suspension. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was in camp on Tuesday, but it is unknown if the Haden situation motivated him to come to Cleveland.
The loss of Haden would severely hamper the secondary in a defense already missing Gocong for the year and starting DT Phil Taylor (pectoral surgery) for at least six games. Starting strong-side LB Scott Fujita will probably miss the first three games to a suspension for his alleged role in Bountygate.
The silver lining for Richardson is that he would be on schedule to return before the regular season. ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortenson is reporting that Dr. James Andrews will remove a particle of loose cartilage from Richardson's knee on Thursday. Richardson had surgery for a torn left meniscus before the draft, but the injuries are believed to be unrelated.
Mortensen told sports talk station WKNR-AM that Haden could appeal his suspension and win if he proves he has a prescription for Adderall and alerted the Browns' medical staff about it.
The Browns have yet to comment on the Haden situation. The media will be speaking to coach Pat Shurmur after the Family Night practice, which is scheduled to conclude around 8:30 p.m.
Stay dialed in on the Cleveland Browns on Twitter at @CBSSportsNFLCLE throughout the season with on-site updates from CBSSports.com RapidReports correspondent Marty Gitlin.