BEREA – Browns rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo continues to “feel great,” but nearly a week after suffering a bruised lung against the Lions he doesn’t know when he might be allowed to return to the field.
“Everything is feeling good,” he said this morning. “Everyone is happy with the progress and now we’re just waiting to see what the doctors say so we can get back.”
Bruised lungs are rare in football. Even more unusual is that coach Rob Chudzinski and Mingo insist he didn’t suffer any injuries to his ribs. Yet he was kept in the Cleveland Clinic two nights following the game.
“They just saw a little bruise in there and that was it,” he said of the doctors.
Mingo, the No. 6 pick, said he doesn’t believe he was hurt heading into the game Thursday night and still thinks the “freakish” injury happened on the opening kickoff, even though he didn’t take a big hit. He said he’d never experienced shortness of breath or spit up blood before Thursday night. He said he spit up blood during and after the game.
Mingo said he met with doctors Tuesday, was told to rest and didn’t know the next appointment.
He hasn’t been cleared, won’t play Saturday night against the Colts and is likely to miss the preseason finale Aug. 29. His status for the regular season remains up in the air.
“I’m listening to the doctors, listening to the coaches, that’s all I know,” Mingo said.
The current plan for his recovery is rest, but he said he’s done a little running, even though the doctors advised against it. He was asked what kind of tests he’s been given.
“It’s a feel test,” he said. “It’s how you feel, and I’m feeling good.”
Mingo said it will be hard not to play Saturday, but has been fine handling the uncertainty.
“As football players, we listen to our coaches and if they say we want you to run down there and hit that guy on the play, you go down there and hit the guy on the play,” he said. “If you’ve got to sit out for a couple weeks or whatever, you sit out and then you come out ready to go.”
Starting right outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard didn't practice with a knee injury termed "day-to-day" by Chudzinski. Quentin Groves played with the first team with Sheard and Mingo out.
** Cornerback Chris Owens (foot) was limited with the same arch injury that kept him out of the preseason opener. Rookie third-round pick Leon McFadden took his spot with the first-team nickel package.
** Defensive end Brian Sanford returned to the team and was scheduled to practice after his trade to Seattle was voided Tuesday. The Browns sent him to the Seahawks in exchange for offensive lineman John Moffitt, but voided the trade when they had concerns about Moffitt’s health.
“I’m glad to be back,” said Sanford, who had a physical in Seattle, then flew right back. “I love Cleveland. I’m ready to get back to ball.”
** Chudzinski said most of the starters will play the first series of the third quarter against the Colts. He wants them to play after halftime.
Chudzinski said running back Trent Richardson and a few other starters won’t play as much.
** Chudzinski said it’s yet to be determined if receiver David Nelson (knee) will play Saturday. He returned to practice Sunday.
** Chudzinski hasn’t decided if the starters will play in the finale in Chicago. The performance against the Colts could affect the decision.
FOLLOW SCOTT PETRAK ON TWITTER.