October 30, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
42°F

Lewis breaks leg; Mingo bruises lung

 

Scott Petrak

The Gazette

Top draft choice Barkevious Mingo was kept at the Cleveland Clinic for a second night Friday so doctors could observe his bruised lung.

Change-of-pace running back Dion Lewis will need surgery on his broken left fibula and could miss the season.

Right guard Jason Pinkston is expected to miss the start of the regular season with a high ankle sprain.

Coach Rob Chudzinski updated the Browns’ injury situation Friday during a conference call with beat writers. He didn’t have a victory to numb the pain like he did Thursday night, when the Browns outclassed the Lions 24-6.

Chudzinski didn’t give any definitive timetables for the return of the seriously injured, and he wouldn’t say if Lewis will go on short-term or season-ending injured reserve.

He said Mingo, a pass-rushing outside linebacker drafted No. 6 overall, felt better Friday but was being held for precautionary reasons. Chudzinski didn’t speculate on when he might return.

“Well, he had a bruised lung, so every time there is that type of injury, they just want to make sure everything is OK with his health and breathing and everything else,” Chudzinski said.

Mingo (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) left the game with what was announced in the pressbox as a rib injury, but Chudzinski said there isn’t a problem with the ribs. He played exclusively on special teams and how he bruised a lung remains a mystery.

Mingo’s last play on the field was a Lions punt in which he rushed off the edge. He was taken to the ground by a blocker but got up and escorted Travis Benjamin into the end zone on a return that was called back because of a Joe Haden holding penalty.

“We looked at the tape. There wasn’t a big hit that we could see,” Chudzinski said. “Obviously, he had a number of plays where there was some contact but it was hard to determine which one it was. So I’m not sure at what point it happened in the game, whether it was one particular hit, or a combination of hits.”

Chudzinski didn’t relate many specifics of Mingo’s symptoms.

“When he was hit, he was out of breath, that kind of thing,” he said.

Lewis’ injury was obvious on tape. He was sandwiched in the third quarter by linebackers Travis Lewis and Ashlee Palmer after a 6-yard catch out of the backfield, with Lewis hitting him in the lower leg.

Chudzinski said Lewis’ surgery hadn’t been scheduled. If the prognosis is positive after the procedure, the Browns could place him on the short-term IR, which would keep him out until at least Week 8.

“We will wait on all those decisions,” Chudzinski said. “We still have another couple weeks for the final cuts, so we’ll wait on those.”

Lewis was acquired from Philadelphia in the offseason in a trade for second-year linebacker Emmanuel Acho. Lewis used the extra repetitions created by injuries to starter Trent Richardson and backup Montario Hardesty to impress the coaches during training camp.

Lewis (5-8, 195 pounds) appeared headed for a sizable role in the offense and as the kickoff returner. He had a 31-yard run against the Lions.

“He’s a big part of the offense. He’s a big part of the team,” Richardson said Thursday after the game. “We’re going to keep his spirits lifted high and we’re going to keep him in our prayers. I don’t know if we’re going to lose him for the season, but if we do, there’s a lot of opportunity for guys.

“There’s a lot of opportunity and I’ve got to get in shape. I’ve got to get in the best shape ever. With Brandon (Jackson) and Obi (Chris Ogbonnaya) and even Montario, we’ve just got to work harder.”

Hardesty had arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday and is likely out for a month. Ogbonnaya is splitting time between tailback and first-team fullback, and the injuries have pushed Jackson up the depth chart.

Lewis has a body type and quickness different from the other backs, but Chudzinski said that doesn’t mean the team will run out to sign a facsimile.

“I don’t think it’s necessary to have the exact kind of guy that he is,” Chudzinski said. “Again, I think Norv (Turner, coordinator) has proven over time that he can adjust to whoever’s there. Trent Richardson’s still there. Obi, obviously, he’s been the versatile guy that can do both. Brandon Jackson really had some nice plays in the game last night. There are still a number of guys that are still there and that over the next few games we’ll work.”

On a brighter note, Chudzinski said No. 2 tight end Gary Barnidge (shoulder sprain), rookie kicker Brandon Bogotay (groin) and punter T.J. Conley (groin) are day-to-day. He hopes receiver David Nelson (knee), who missed almost all of camp, will return to practice next week.

Contact Scott Petrak at (440) 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.