October 1, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
69°F

Browns: Barkevious Mingo returns to practice

BEREA — Browns outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo was on the practice field Monday, marking the next step in his recovery from a bruised lung.

The sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft participated in drills on a limited basis, but moved smoothly while dropping back in pass coverage and running through orange cones. He also caught two passes during the brief portion of practice open to the media.

It marked Mingo’s first on-field activities since being injured in an Aug. 15 preseason game against the Detroit Lions.

“It’s good to see him moving, and whenever we get him back the whole way, he’s going to be full steam ahead,” linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “He’s a smart guy and he’s done everything right so far.

“But the main thing is his health. He’s dealing with something that I never have experienced, and a lot of other guys haven’t, so you want to be overcautious with something like that.”

Mingo spent two nights at Cleveland Clinic after coughing up blood during the Lions game. Neither he nor coach Rob Chudzinski have been able to pinpoint when the injury occurred.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder from Louisiana State was not made available for comment, but a team spokesman said Mingo will answer questions later in the week.

“Whether or not he comes back this week, next week, I’m not the guy to answer that question,” defensive captain Jackson said. “We kind of keep that a little private.

“He is doing everything the trainers are asking him to do. He’s also running. That’s a good thing.”

Mingo is listed as Jabaal Sheard’s backup on the Browns’ official depth chart, but is expected to see significant action when healthy.

Four first-teamers also returned to practice on the warm morning, including former Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess (knee tendinitis).

Tight end Jordan Cameron (groin strain), cornerback Chris Owens (sore foot arch), and defensive end Desmond Bryant (back spasms) also suited up and are expected to start against Miami.

“It’s nice, coming back and getting my feet wet again,” said Bess, who was traded by the Dolphins to Cleveland on the second day of the NFL Draft. “Really, I’m feeling fine. A lot of being out last week was just for maintenance.

“The coaches are taking care of me and a lot of the experienced guys, which we appreciate. They want us to be ready when the games start counting, and we will be.”

The only active players not on the field were guards Shawn Lauvao (left ankle surgery) and Jason Pinkston (right high ankle sprain). Both are expected to be sidelined until at least mid-September.

Just for kicks

Veteran kicker Billy Cundiff is scheduled to work out today for the Browns at their training facility.

Cleveland currently is without a kicker after cutting Shayne Graham and Brandon Bogotay over the weekend. Bogotay subsequently cleared waivers and was re-signed and placed on injured reserve with a groin injury.

Cundiff spent part of 2009 with the Browns when Phil Dawson was injured, making all six of his field goal attempts and scoring 22 points. He went 3-for-3 in the preseason for the Jets, who used a trio of kickers before settling on incumbent Nick Folk.

Former Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter was slated to join Cundiff in Berea, but withdrew when he was offered a contract by the Bills. Buffalo will be his fourth team in the last six weeks.

A league source said Cleveland has not closed the door on bringing back Graham, but is not considering using punter Spencer Lanning in a dual role.

Lanning made two field goals, including the game-winner with 3:15 left in regulation, in the Browns’ preseason finale Thursday in Chicago. He was pressed into double-duty when Graham was a late scratch because of a stiff back.

“Once Spencer and I got over the initial shock of the situation, we both said, ‘All right, let’s do this,’” long snapper Christian Yount said. “He did a great job kicking.”

New arrivals

Running backs Dennis Johnson (Texans) and Bobby Rainey (Ravens), tight ends Keavon Milton (Saints) and MarQueis Gray (49ers), linebacker Brandon Magee (Cowboys), and center Patrick Lewis (Packers) spent their first full days with the Browns.

All six were claimed off waivers Sunday, when Cleveland cut running back Brandon Jackson, linebacker L.J. Fort, tight end Kellen Davis, fullback Brad Smelley, guard Caylin Hauptmann, and tackle Jarrod Shaw.

“I’ve learned being in Cleveland, you expect the unexpected sometimes,” Jackson said. “We lost of lot of good guys, but I have total confidence in (CEO) Joe Banner and the decision-makers we have about bringing the right guys in.”

Johnson had a strong preseason with Houston, gaining 160 yards from scrimmage, but got caught up in the numbers game. The 5-foot-7 speedster also could help the Browns in the return game, having set several school records at Arkansas.

“To go from not knowing what I was going to do to coming to the Browns was big,” Johnson said.

Family affair

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Milton, an undrafted rookie from Louisiana-Monroe, couldn’t believe his good fortune in being picked up by the Browns.
His cousin is Cleveland strong safety Josh Aubrey, who made the team out of training camp as an undrafted rookie.

“That made being claimed by Cleveland even better,” said Milton, who describes himself as a blocking tight end. “I grew up in Canton, Texas, and Josh grew up in Tyler, which is about 45 minutes away. Being with him here in the NFL is a real blessing.”

Unfortunately for Milton, he couldn’t tell the rest of his family just how excited he was about the news.

“I wanted to jump around and scream about it, but I couldn’t because I had a real sore throat,” he said, smiling. “As soon as I got my voice back, I let everybody know.”

Practice squad

Sixth-round draft choice Jamoris Slaughter, wide receiver Tori Gurley, and Hauptmann were among eight players signed to the Browns’ practice squad.

Slaughter, Gurley, and Hauptmann spent all of training camp with Cleveland before being released when NFL teams had to reduce their active rosters to 53 players.

Also added to the unit were wide receiver Jasper Collins (Dolphins), and defensive backs Kip Edwards (Bills), Darius Eubanks (Vikings), Terrence Frederick (Giants), and Julian Posey (Dolphins).

Collins played collegiately at Mount Union, while Posey is the older brother of former Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey — now playing for the Houston Texans.

Quote of the day

“I knew they were the Browns and they were from Cleveland, Ohio. That’s about it. But so far, I like it here. It seems nice.” — Running back Dennis Johnson, detailing his knowledge about the franchise.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.