Steelers lose cornerback Joe Haden to broken leg
INDIANAPOLIS – Joe Haden's first season with the Steelers is on hold, but it might not be over.
Haden suffered a left fibula fracture late in the first quarter of the Steelers' 20-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Coach Mike Tomlin said the fracture was “high on the leg,” but he offered no timetable for how much time the veteran cornerback might miss.
Teammates, however, suggested Haden could return before the end of the season.
“He definitely will be back,” cornerback Artie Burns said. “I think he said he would be out for a couple of weeks or so, a few weeks or something like that.”
This is the third consecutive season Haden has been bothered by injuries. In 2015 with the Cleveland Browns, a pair of concussions limited him to five games. Last season, his final one in Cleveland, Haden played through two groin injuries that required surgery in January.
The Steelers signed Haden to a three-year, $27 million contract just hours after the Browns released him in late August when he refused to take a pay cut.
Haden was injured while covering wide receiver Donte Moncrief. The two plays made contact, and Haden remained on the ground for several moments clutching his knee. He walked off the field under his own power but was taken to the locker room before halftime.
He returned to the field in the second half on crutches.
Coty Sensabaugh, a free agent acquired to provide depth in the secondary, replaced Haden for the rest of the game. He likely will start Thursday when the Steelers play the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field.
“It's unfortunate,” Sensabaugh said, “but in this game injuries happen and you just have to stay prepared and (keep) planting seeds and see what comes from it.”
The Steelers also lost starting free safety Mike Mitchell to a right ankle injury early in the second half. Mitchell also didn't finish the previous game against Detroit because of an Achilles injury. The Steelers also could be without him against the Titans.
“Working on a short week, those that limped out of the stadium probably don't have much of a chance,” Tomlin said. “We'll prepare to work hard and work smart.”
Tight end Vance McDonald (ankle) and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot) exited with injuries in the first half but returned to the game. McDonald was wearing a walking boot after the game.