Browns' Mingo likely to debut against Ravens

Browns' Mingo likely to debut against Ravens
September 13, 2013, 9:45 am
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(David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

The Browns’ No. 1 draft pick, linebacker Barkevious Mingo, is expected to play in his first official NFL game on Sunday against the Ravens, The Plain Dealer reported.

Mingo suffered a bruised lung during the preseason and missed Cleveland’s opener.

"Obviously if you’re a first-round pick, you want him on the field as much as you can,'' Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton said. "It’s going to be what he can handle. I also want to realize that he’s only played seven plays total in the NFL, so I just don’t want to throw him in there and say, ‘Go!'

“It's like a learning curve. Let him make his errors, let him make his big plays. I’ll find out what he does well. I don’t want to overload him his first game, but I also want to give him some soft pitches to hit. I want to give him less thinking and more reaction-type stuff."

Mingo, a game-changing defender at LSU, could eventually be a similarly big-impact player in the NFL, but he is lucky not only to be returning so quickly to action, but also fortunate he wasn’t hurt more seriously. The bruised lung incurred on Aug. 15 was potentially a life-threatening injury.