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Joe Haden, Donte Whitner likely to miss Browns vs Bengals

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The Browns will reportedly be down two starting defensive backs in Round 1 of the Battle of Ohio.

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns will be without several key players when they take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football.

According to ESPN's Pat McManamon, Cleveland will be without starting safety Donte Whitner and Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden this Thursday. It makes sense given they both suffered concussions on Sunday during the Browns' loss to the Arizona Cardinals. It's almost impossible to go into the NFL's concussion protocol on a Sunday and be out of it in time to play in a Thursday game.

The scary part about this for Haden is that he missed the Browns’ previous two games with a concussion before returning on Sunday. That's two concussions in less than a month, and though Haden doesn't have a history of concussion issues, that's always scary to see. Haden was kicked in the head during the third quarter on Sunday against the Cardinals before being diagnosed with another concussion. Rand Getlin of NFL Network reports the Browns do not have a timetable for Haden's return.

As for Whitner, he sustained a concussion shortly after. It would be a rare occurrence if he doesn't play this week after missing just one game from 2010-14 with the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and now Browns. Whitner has 55 tackles this season to go with three pass deflections and a forced fumble.

As for Haden, he has just 22 tackles, no interceptions and two pass deflections in five games. He's been a thorn in the side of the Bengals, particularly A.J. Green, as Haden has often gotten the better of him in their matchups. If he's out this week, expect Green to run wild on the Browns' struggling defense.