Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/11/13
Rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo is expected to make his NFL regular-season debut Sunday when the Browns visit the Baltimore Ravens. “He has been cleared to play” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Wednesday. Mingo missed the final two preseason games and the season-opening 23-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins om Sunday with a bruised lung. “I feel better knowing that I’m able to play if I’m called upon” said Mingo the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft from Louisiana State University. “I feel I bring a lot to this team and the coaches can use me in different ways. I think that’s the best part about it. I’m ready to get it done and just ready to play.” Mingo was diagnosed with a bruised lung Aug. 15 after he left an exhibition game against the Detroit Lions because he was spitting up blood and experiencing shortness of breath. He was taken to the Cleveland Clinic’s main campus during the game and spent two nights there. Mingo believes he suffered the unusual injury during the opening kickoff against the Lions even though he cannot identify a specific big hit as the cause. Last week Mingo participated in practice on a limited basis. He sat out contact drills including ones in which his teammates hit blocking sleds and tackling dummies. But Mingo hit the blocking sled Wednesday and participated in a punting drill during the 30-minute portion of practice open to the media though he was listed as limited on the injury report. Mingo said he’s not afraid to hit again but he conceded his mother Barbara Johnson is concerned. “She was worried. She still is” Mingo said. “She asks me every day how am I doing. I just have to let her know that I’m doing good I feel good the coaches and the doctors both agree that I’m able to play I’m ready to play so I think she’ll be OK.” Mingo is a backup outside linebacker who’s expected to receive significant playing time this season as a situational pass rusher. The starting outside linebackers are Jabaal Sheard and Paul Kruger who will serve as a game captain this week after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Ravens. The Browns tallied four sacks against the Dolphins and they’re eager to see how much Mingo can augment their defensive attack. “He’s an excellent player” starting defensive end Desmond Bryant said. “He’s young. He’s a little bit raw still but he knows how to make plays. He’s got the physicality and the quickness to go out there and do his thing. Adding him to what we already established last week is just going to make us that much more fearsome.”
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