CLEVELAND - It's never a good thing when a football coach has to worry more about the medical report than the team's performance the day after a game.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski spent most of his Friday press conference answering questions about several injuries that occurred during a 24-6 win over the Detroit Lions Thursday at First Energy Stadium. Running back Dion Lewis fractured his left fibula. Linebacker Barkevious Mingo suffered a lung contusion. Guard Jason Pinkston suffered a high left ankle sprain. Tight end Gary Barnidge bruised a shoulder and kicker Brandon Bogotay pulled a groin.
Mingo's injury was of the most concern after the game. He spent the night in the Cleveland Clinic and was expected to remain there Friday night. Game film showed no obvious point at which Mingo took a hit to the chest area that might have caused the contusion.
"Anytime there is that kind of injury, you want to make sure everything is OK with his health and breathing and everything else," Chudzinski said.
Lung contusions can result in labored breathing and the coughing up of blood. Mingo's extra night of stay is a precautionary measure to make sure he doesn't suffer those types of symptoms.
The most serious injury in terms of the potential loss of playing time was to Lewis, who was hurt catching a pass in the third quarter. He wasn't able to put weight on the foot while being assisted from the field.
Lewis will have surgery. Chudzinski wasn't sure if Lewis will return early in the season or be placed on injured reserve.
Losing Lewis' services would be significant. He was being groomed as Trent Richardson's backup. In camp and preseason games, Lewis showed the ability to run between the tackles and catch passes out of the backfield.
Brandon Jackson is a possibility as the number two back. Chris Ogbonnaya has been working at fullback but has the versatility needed to switch to running back. The Browns could also bring in another back.
"He was a guy that had an opportunity to show what he could do, and he was catching our eye," Chudzinski said of Lewis. "At this early stage I don't know if we had everything planned out for this reason alone what we're going to do with these guys. We'll get a better idea how we could utilize these guys as we move forward."
Pinkston is expected to be sidelined into the early stages of the season, which is the same prognosis for starting guard Shawn Lauvao. Lauvao had surgery last week on his right ankle, resulting in a pair of starting assignments for Pinkston.
Again, it's possible a veteran lineman will be secured for depth purposes. The first player off the bench after Pinkston went down was rookie Garrett Gilkey, who played well in his confrontation with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
It would probably be asking too much of Gilkey to enter the season as the starting right guard.
"I'm pleased with what he did for coming into the situation he came in and the guy he had to face," Chudzinski said. "It was quite a challenge for him. He's not Joe DeLamielleure yet, but he's made improvement since he's been here."
Bogotay and punter T.J. Conley are both dealing with groin injuries. Chudzinski expects both to return to practice next week. Barnidge's injury isn't considered serious. He should return soon.
STILL NO CALL: Chudzinski refused to officially name Brandon Weeden the starting quarterback despite a second consecutive strong performance. He completed 8-of-12 passes for 117 yards with a pair of touchdowns to tight end Jordan Cameron. Weeden is 18-of-25 for 229 yards and three touchdowns for the preseason.
"I don't know if it was a big improvement (from the first game)," Chudzinski said. "He was throwing accurate balls. He did that in first game, but he really had some nice throws (against the Lions). He had to move around in the pocket a little more. The pass rush was coming harder this week. It was good for him to experience that."
STANDING OUT: In addition to Weeden, Chudzinski was pleased with Cameron's showing. The coach also singled out Richardson, linebacker Jabaal Sheard, nose tackle Phil Taylor and safety Josh Aubrey, who started in place of the injured T.J. Ward.