TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Barkevious Mingo’s comeback from a strange injury is nearly complete.
The first-round draft pick who sustained a bruised lung last month returned to practice in a limited role Monday, a significant step in his recovery from the mysterious injury.
Mingo was injured in an Aug. 15 exhibition game against Detroit and hospitalized for two days at The Cleveland Clinic. The No. 6 overall pick took part in position drills, but did not have any contact during the 30 minutes of practice open to reporters. It’s doubtful Mingo took part in any of the 11-on-11 team drills
Mingo’s status for Sunday’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins is still to be determined. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder will likely undergo more testing before he can be cleared to play. He experienced shortness of breath and said he spit up some blood while he was on the sideline against the Lions.
He was in the locker room after practice, but a team spokesman said he would not talk to the media until Friday.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski was not available Monday.
Mingo was restricted to riding a stationary bike, some running and light weightlifting last week, so his appearance on the field is a sign he’s made good progress.
“It’s good,” linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “The main thing is his health. He’s dealing with something that I never had experience with and a lot of other guys haven’t. So you want to be overcautious with something like that. It’s good to see him moving, and whenever we get him back he’s going to be full steam ahead. He’s a smart guy and he’s done everything right so far.”
Mingo doesn’t remember taking a hit that could have caused the unusual injury.
The Browns plan to use him as an outside pass rusher whenever he returns.
“He’s ready to go,” Jackson said. “He was a first-round pick. He wants to be out there to show guys how good he can rush off the edge. We know how good he’s going to be and how good he is right now. The good thing about this team, we have guys who can step up while he’s out, so it’s no rush for him to come back.”
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