The Cleveland Browns seem to be playing a little coy with the status of Barkevious Mingo going into the first game with the Miami Dolphins. For the part of practice that the media is able to watch, he is not engaging in contact which leads many to believe that Mingo’s debut will be against the Baltimore Ravens rather than the Dolphins. The listing on the injury report for Mingo is ‘limited’, which is the same description as they have for some other players including Desmond Bryant and Buster Skrine. Head Coach Rob Chudzinski was not available to comment, so Mingo has not been ruled out yet.
While the likelihood is that Mingo will not play, it seems like the Browns are letting the issue hang out there just enough to make people wonder if maybe he might suit up for the Dolphins. While not ruling him out, Ray Horton is saying everything that suggests he is preparing to be without the sixth overall pick this week’s game. According to Horton, “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.”
The safe money is on Mingo not playing, but he is sprinting and doing everything short of hitting in practice when the media is watching. Maybe it is nothing but there does seem to be an element of the Browns having a little fun with this and just keeping this going long enough to put doubt in the minds of the Dolphins. Ultimately, it has been reported and hypothesized that the Ravens game would be the target return date, they would definitely love to have him back for the Dolphins to put pressure on Ryan Tannehill, especially with questions at left tackle. If Mingo is unable to play, the Browns will roll out some combination of Paul Hazel and Eric Martin to be the other outside linebacker and they could get a decent amount of playing time in the rotation.
Also on the injury report were Desmond Bryant with his continued back issues, but he is expected to go and Buster Skrine with a shoulder injury that has not been explained to this point. Jabaal Sheard was on there for an illness but he is supposed to be fine and was able to fully participate in practice. All of them, like Mingo, have been listed as ‘limited’, which is about the most vague word to describe them possible short of ‘alive’ or ‘present’.