Joe Haden is dealing with an ankle contusion, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced Tuesday during his weekly press conference. Haden, Pittsburgh's best cornerback who is entering his 10th NFL season, sustained the injury during last Wednesday's training camp practice from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Tomlin did not say when he expects Haden to return to practice.
Haden is entering the final year of his three-year, $27 million contract that he signed with the Steelers just before the start of the 2017 regular season. He was quickly snatched up by Pittsburgh after being released by the Browns, the team that drafted Haden in the first round of the 2010 draft.
Haden's representatives had begun conversations with the Steelers about a possible extension for Haden prior to his injury. Haden, who is due $10 million this season, has said on numerous occasions this offseason that he would like to finish his career with the Steelers. The 30-year-old has made a significant impact on Pittsburgh's defense over the past two seasons. The Steelers finished fifth in pass defense in 2017 after finishing 16th in that department in 2016. They were 10th in the league in pass defense in 2018 despite not having a consistent No. 2 cornerback opposite Haden.
With Haden out, rookie cornerback Justin Layne was inserted into the starting lineup for Pittsburgh's first preseason game. Layne, a third-round pick who broke up 24 passes in three seasons at Michigan State, struggled in his NFL preseason debut, as Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston went after Layne while leading the Buccaneers to a touchdown on the game's opening drive.