November 23, 2014

Medina
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Browns: More tests for Barkevious Mingo

BEREA — Rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo is scheduled to have more tests on his bruised lung and a timetable for his return to the practice field has yet to be determined.

“I think he’s going to go through some tests soon,” CEO Joe Banner said Monday. “It’s still fairly open-ended. Hopefully we’ll get more information soon and have a better idea.”

Barkevious Mingo

Mingo is out for the third preseason game Saturday against the Colts and is unlikely to return for the finale next week against the Bears. The regular season opens Sept. 8.

Mingo, the No. 6 pick in the draft, was injured playing special teams Thursday against Detroit. He was released from the Cleveland Clinic on Saturday, watched practice and said he felt fine and didn’t have any broken ribs.

Mingo didn’t sustain a big hit but thought he was injured on the opening kickoff. He stayed in for a few more snaps, but spit up blood on the sideline and was out of breath. He left the game and was taken to the hospital before it finished.

“The range of this being from minor to quite serious is larger than most injuries,” Banner said. “But you know we’ve got top quality medical people and they were fairly quickly able to assure us and get him in a place where we were able to determine that he was in good shape.

“Initially, mostly it was, ‘What is that? How’d that happen?’ But I think as soon as you understood, we were at a point where the medical people had done enough to make us feel confident that it wasn’t going to be a big deal.”

A league source said Mingo had never sustained a bruised lung before. Banner was asked if the doctors have said he’s more susceptible to another one.

“You’ve got to make sure he’s fully healthy before you put him back out there and then he should be at no greater risk than anybody else, at least as I understand it,” Banner said.

Lewis has surgery

Running back Dion Lewis had surgery Monday to repair a broken left fibula suffered Thursday. Banner spoke to the media at the time of the surgery, and was uncertain if Lewis would miss the whole season or be a candidate for short-term injured reserve, where he’d be eligible to return Week 8.

“We won’t have any idea until after the surgery,” Banner said. “Even then, we may or may not have any more clarity than we do right now. It just may be a matter of seeing how it heals.”

Office space

Banner took members of the media on a tour of the facility that just received a $5 million, four-month renovation. He was proud of his project and said it will attract keep good people and keep them working for the team.

Most of the makeover was done on the second floor, tearing down walls and creating open work spaces in bright orange and white. Remodeling 37,000 square feet of the 90,000-square-foot building allowed 68 employees who used to work at FirstEnergy Stadium to be brought to team headquarters, putting executives, coaches, players and staff in one building.

“We envisioned and created a vibrant, high-energy space that maximizes our employees’ ability to perform at the highest level in a collaborative environment,” Banner said.

The upstairs features a shuffleboard table — “Working in sports is fun, it’s youthful,” Banner said — a broadcast studio that welcomes visitors at the top of the stairs and common areas that look over the indoor and outdoor practice fields. The walls are filled with prints of current and former Browns and inspirational quotes from Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, John Wooden and Ulysses S. Grant.

Banner pointed out his favorite, which comes from Willy Wonka, a character of author Roald Dahl: “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest man.”

The building opened in 1991 and has undergone three renovations.

Staying home

Banner likes having training camp at the team facility and doesn’t plan to move it. When he was president of the Eagles, they traveled to Lehigh University for camp.

“This is a phenomenal setup,” he said. “A lot of time and energy can be wasted relocating the team.”

The benefit of leaving is to nurture closeness among the team, but Banner and coach Rob Chudzinski feel that can be accomplished here. They are open to practicing against another team for a few days during camp, and Banner said the Browns have enough room to host.

Pleased with Gordon

Receiver Josh Gordon will be suspended for the first two games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, and Banner was asked how concerned he is that another violation could cost Gordon a whole season.

“You’re concerned by the nature of it, but Josh has been doing a great job,” he said. “I know there have been reports to the contrary, but he’s been working hard. He’s been doing what we asked him to do. I think he’s been playing well. That’s all we can ask from him. So we’re all encouraged by seeing what he’s doing and we just need to keep it going.”

Contact Scott Petrak at (440) 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.