Browns right guard Shawn Lauvao is undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle today and will miss time early in the regular season, coach Rob Chudzinski said during a conference call this afternoon.
Chudzinski declined to reveal the specifics of Lauvao’s injury or a timetable for Lauvao’s return. He said Lauvao did not suffer a broken bone.
"He’s going to get a scope on that," Chudzinski said. "He’ll miss some time early in the regular season. I don’t have any definitive dates and times on that. We’ll just have to see how that goes from the results of the scope, and how he’ll progress over the next few weeks."
Jason Pinkston filled in for Lauvao at right guard Thursday night during the Browns’ 27-19 win over the St. Louis Rams in the preseason opener for both teams. Pinkston played the entire first half, even though the other starters left early in the second quarter.
Pinkston is the clear favorite to start in the same spot Sept. 8 when the Browns open the regular season at home against the Miami Dolphins.
“I was pleased with Jason’s performance,” Chudzinski said. “He did well along with the group of ones up front, and then he continued and played a little bit more. We wanted him to get him more work and keep working him back into things. But he did a good job. I was pleased with him.”
Pinkston started the first 22 games of his career at left guard until a blood clot in his lung was discovered in October, the cause of which is unknown. The condition forced him to miss the final 10 games of the season.
A fifth-round draft pick in 2011, Pinkston had never played a game at right guard until Thursday. Starting left guard John Greco has experience at both spots, but Chudzinski said he would like Pinkston to remain on the right side and Greco on the left.
"I like where they're at right now," Chudzinski said. "I think Greco's been playing over there and been playing solid ball. And Jason, again, I was pleased with his performance last night. He's a good athlete, and he had played right guard earlier in his career, moved to left guard. I think we'll work it this way for a little while here. I know that John has flexibility being able to play on the right side as well. But I think the guys play next to each other and then they start to develop a little chemistry, so I'd like to see how that evolves with Jason staying on the right side, and in the back of our minds, we know that we potentially could flip-flop it if we had to."
Lauvao, a third-round draft pick in 2010 who has started the past 32 games at right guard, was hurt Monday and carted off the field after nose tackle Phil Taylor bull-rushed him during a one-on-one pass rush drill. As Lauvao moved backward, he lifted his left leg and collapsed to the ground. He remained there on his knees with his helmet pressed against the grass until two trainers helped him onto a cart while he avoided bearing weight on his left leg.