Joe Haden won’t play for Steelers vs. Patriots
The Pittsburgh Steelers will face one of their toughest tests of the season against the New England Patriots on Sunday, and they’ll have to do it without Joe Haden.
Haden, who broke his leg in Week 10, returned to practice this week. However, he is not quite ready to return to game action.
#Steelers CB Joe Haden told me he's not going to go today. He's bummed. But he said he's close.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 17, 2017
Haden’s absence could be huge for Pittsburgh. He’s arguably their best defender in man coverage, and the majority of Tom Brady’s success against the Steelers in recent years has come when Mike Tomlin’s team was playing zone defense.
Last season, the Patriots beat Pittsburgh 27-16 at Heinz Field in the regular season before handing them a 36-17 beating the the AFC Championship Game in Foxboro. In those two games combined, Brady completed 75 percent of his passes and threw for 606 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. During the 2015 regular season, Brady completed 25 of 32 passes for 288 yards, four touchdowns and no picks against the Steelers. Pittsburgh could use all the help it can get, but it won’t be coming from Haden.