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Browns DC Ray Horton on Barkevious Mingo: 'He’ll be ready to play when his body tells him'

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 5, 2013

Browns rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo continued to practice today on a limited basis, but he sat out contact drills as he recovers from a bruised lung.

Mingo, the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft, ran sprints and warmed up with the team today at the beginning of practice. Then he watched a kickoff drill from the sideline. He ran around cones and caught passes during a linebacker drill. But when his teammates began hitting tackling dummies and polishing their hand-fighting skills, Mingo sat out again.

Before reporters were allowed to watch about the first 30 minutes of practice, Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton spoke as if he’s expecting Mingo to be sidelined Sunday when the Miami Dolphins visit FirstEnergy Stadium for the regular-season opener. Browns CEO Joe Banner said the team would probably know Mingo’s status today or Friday.

“He’ll come back,” Horton said of Mingo. “He’ll be ready to play when his body tells him to. Would I like to have him out there? Yes. Am I disappointed? No, because I believe we have capable players that are going to step up and play.”

Mingo was diagnosed with a bruised lung after he left a preseason game Aug. 15 against the Detroit Lions because he was spitting up blood and experiencing shortness of breath. He spent two nights at the Cleveland Clinic’s main campus and didn’t resume running or weightlifting until last week.

Despite Mingo’s setback, Horton is excited about his future.

“[He’s] an athletic player that can do everything that we want him to do here, meaning rush the quarterback, drop into coverage, cover tight ends,” Horton said. “He played well in the preseason, and I hope that he will pick up exactly where he left off.

“The only thing that was a surprise having never sat with him in the classroom to install a defense, I wasn’t sure how fast he was going to pick everything up. He’s been a pleasant surprise both on the field and off the field, and we’re very fortunate to have him.”

Right guard Shawn Lauvao (high ankle sprain) was the only player on the Browns’ active roster who sat out practice today. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski has ruled out Lauvao for Sunday.

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