BEREA—It was only at a ‘jog through pace’, but it was a good sign.
After undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Aug. 6, linebacker Barkevious Mingo was back on the practice field Monday.
“Ming was out there today,” Mike Pettine said. “Since it was jog through pace, he was able to do a lot of (every thing). That was good to see. He’s on pace for the first game.”
Mingo said he felt comfortable in his first practice back.
“I felt really good to be back on the field moving around out there with the team.”
He was asked if he thinks he’ll be ready for the season opener.
“I’m out here every day just to be ready if I’m called on,” he said. “It’s a couple weeks away and if I had my choice, I’d be out there, but we’ll see.”
Mingo, 25, suffered a torn meniscus in his knee and the timetable given was originally, two to four weeks. Pettine said last week that it was “unlikely” that Mingo would play in the final preseason game. He still said Mingo was on target to play in the season opener on Sept. 13 against the New York Jets.
Mingo said he didn’t have an ongoing problem with his knee, but he injured the knee on a play in practice. He hopes the injuries are behind him for now.
“Knock on wood, hopefully.”
Mingo said that he doesn’t feel he’s very far behind as he feels he kept on point in team meetings and throughout the process.
“Injuries happen,” he said. “It’s just up to the player how they handle it. You can sit in the back of the class room and sulk or make sure you get those points and that you get ready to play mentally . I feel like I’ve done that.”
Mingo was plagued for most of the 2014 season with a shoulder injury, but played through with a shoulder harness that limited his mobility. Mingo had surgery on the shoulder after the season. In 2014, Mingo had 39 tackles and two sacks.
As a rookie in 2013, Mingo suffered a bruised lung in the preseason, but played in all but the season opener and finished with 42 tackles and five sacks. Currently, Scott Solomon is listed as the starting outside linebacker ahead of Mingo on the opposite side of Paul Kruger. Second-round draft pick, outside linebacker Nate Orchard missed the third preseason game with a back injury and wasn’t on the practice field on Monday.
Mingo said he feels comfortable in the second year of the defense and is ready for a big year.
“I feel comfortable in this defense and know year two will be better,” he said. “Knowing my role, I think this year can be a good one.”
He feels he can contribute in a number of different ways.
“To help out wherever I can, whether that’s dropping back in coverage or rushing the passer,” he said. “The sky’s the limit.”
RB Talk: With the uncertainty of the concussion suffered by RB Duke Johnson, there was a lot of questions about the running back position. Pettine was asked if the Browns are looking to bring in another back this week.
“For the immediate future, for this week we are not,” he said. “We’re waiting to see. Duke was obviously out this week. We’ll wait and see where we are.”
RB Shaun Draughn is practicing and Pettine said he’s down to a protective covering and thinks he might be able to carry the ball against the Bears.
“He handled (the ball) some today,” he said. “He’s more further along. There’s a chance he will handle the ball Thursday.”
Pettine said they have a good idea of what Draughn can do.
“We already have a lot of information on Shaun,” Pettine said. “We’ve had him here last season. We know who he is. We’ll see when things settle down after Thursday night.”
RB Glenn Winston was seen running on the field after practice after having arthroscopic surgery on his knee in early August.
Pettine was asked about the possibility of bringing in RB Fred Jackson, who was released by the Bills Monday. He was asked about RB Ray Rice on Sunday, but didn’t want to talk about specific players.
“We’re aware of who’s available,” he said. “I’ll leave it at that.”
Gilbert, K’Waun Return: The Browns had two cornerbacks return to the practice field on Monday in DB Justin Gilbert (hip flexor) and DB K'Waun Williams (abdomen). Also, DB Robert Nelson (hamstring), DB Jordan Poyer (concussion) and DL Ishmaa'ily Kitchen (shoulder) were on the field.
“(Gilbert and Williams) both went today,” Pettine said. “We did get Nelly (Nelson) back, Mingo, Kitchen. Gilbert went today because of the tempo of practice.”
No Duke, Desir, Orchard: RB Duke Johnson (concussion), DB Pierre Desir (concussion) and LB Nate Orchard (back) were not on the practice field during the portion open to the media. DB Charles Gaines Jr. (hamstring) was on the side with trainers. OL Michael Bowie (shoulder) wasn’t on the field.
Pettine was asked the extent of Orchard’s injury.
“Not portrayed as anything serious,” Pettine said. “I don’t see it as something to cause him to miss games.”
Pryor Practicing: After missing Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury, WR Terrelle Pryor was back on the practice field. Pettine said a lot will depend on Tuesday’s practice, whether he’ll be able to play Thursday.
“We’ll know more Tuesday as it will be full pads,” Pettine said “He looked good out there (at practice). If he plays, he will be limited to a number of plays.”
No Throw Johnny: QB Johnny Manziel once again was not throwing during the early portion of practice Monday. Manziel has not been throwing in practice for a week thus far.
“I don’t know when he’ll throw again,” Pettine said. “He’s doing his rehab exercises and the protocol. There’s really nothing new on Johnny.”
The Browns released six players on their way to getting to the limit of 75 players by 4 p.m. Tuesday. Waived were TE Anthony Ezeakunne, and WR Shane Wynn. The other four were classified as having their contracts terminated: LB Everette Brown, LB Moise Fokou, RB Jalen Parmele and DB Aaron Ross. Currently, the Browns have 84 on the roster. The roster must be cut to 53 by Sat. Sept. 5.
Pettine was asked about Wynn, a local player from Glenville High School, who he said he feels has the skill set to play in the NFL.
“Shane got caught up in the numbers a little bit,” Pettine said. “He made plays.”
“It’s close,” he said. “It’s still close. We have some moves to make to get to 75. We’ll meet and discuss it, if we need to make a decision with cuts to 75.
“Both guys have kicked well and done a good job handling the pressure.”