As the Steelers continue to prepare for the Ravens in Week 18, Joe Haden will likely miss the game after being placed on the COVID-19 list earlier this week. Haden is a free agent after the 2021 season. As a result, it’s highly possible that Joe Haden has played his last game as a Steeler.
Haden’s had an impact beyond just his on-field performance, especially this season with the young secondary surrounding him. Rookie Tre Norwood, in particular, has been mentored by Haden and mentioned his impact on Friday.
“He’s a great vet,” Norwood said in audio provided via the team. “He’s been playing at a high level as well. I think 12, 13 years and at corner, that says a lot. Just having that guy in the room and just being able to learn from him every day in meetings, going out to practice in our empty period and team periods. Being able to watch him and just to see the way he goes about things.”
It’s the second straight season that Haden will likely miss the final game of the season due to being on the COVID-19 list. He missed last year’s finale and the Wild Card loss to the Browns. In four years with the Steelers, Haden has participated in just one playoff game, the team’s 2017 one-and-done defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Norwood’s been highly productive for the Steelers in Year 1. Haden’s leadership has a lot to do with Norwood’s quick learning.
“Huge props to him, especially playing one of the hardest positions on the field out there at corner. Having a guy like that in the room that’s always open too [has been nice], I can ask as many questions as I want and he’s always there with an answer for me.”
If it is indeed his last season as a Steeler, what a difference he’s made on the defense. Although the prime of his career was with the Browns, he still put in some very good seasons in Pittsburgh.
He’s accumulated ten interceptions in his five seasons. With all that, it’s the impact on guys like Tre Norwood that’s made his contracts well worthwhile.