Injury to Mingo won’t be major blow to defense
CLEVELAND – If there’s an area that can sustain an injury on the Browns’ roster, it’s linebacker.
The bruised lung that will sideline rookie Barkevious Mingo for at least one week and probably longer won’t turn the position on its heels. Mingo wasn’t slated to start. His role, when healthy, will be as a pass-rushing threat on nickel downs.
General manager Mike Lombardi addressed the linebacking corps during the offseason because of a switch to a 3-4 defense. He signed Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves in free agency and added Mingo with the sixth overall pick in the NFL draft. In addition, Jabaal Sheard was moved from end to outside linebacker.
“We have a lot of players at a lot of positions who can play for us,” defensive coordinator Ray Horton said. “In our first press conference out here I said that depth is a key for us. We have quality players at a lot of quality positions.
“A lot of people use the mantra, ‘Next man up.’ We believe in that philosophy that it doesn’t matter who the starters are, it is give me 11 guys who want to go out and play and can play. He (Mingo) is one of our 11, so will it hurt our team? Yeah, it will hurt our team because of our depth, but we will get him back soon and we will plug him right back in.”
FORGET ABOUT IT: That’s the best way quarterback Jason Campbell can deal with what was a bad day of practice Saturday. Campbell had passes intercepted by Trevin Wade, rookie Jamoris Slaughter and Abdul Kennah. Kennah jumped an out route and went in for what would have been a touchdown.
It’s hard to believe that coach Rob Chudzinski hasn’t officially named Brandon Weeden the starter at quarterback. Campbell has had good days, but Weeden has clearly had the better of the competition.
BACK AT IT: With depth at running back a problem because of injuries to Dion Lewis and Montario Hardesty, Chris Ogbonnaya, who had been working at fullback, took snaps at running back with the first-team offense. Ogbonnaya had 15 carries for 30 yards last season in a backup role to Trent Richardson and Hardesty. He caught 24 passes for 187 yards.
Hardesty is dealing with a broken thumb and a hamstring injury. Chudzinski said the hamstring injury is of more concern. Lewis fractured his left fibula and will be lost indefinitely.
INJURY REPORT: Wade got up slowly after his interception. He was listed on the injury report with a shoulder injury. He walked off the field for treatment before practice ended.
Receiver Naaman Roosevelt injured a hamstring. Cornerback Chris Owens was absent because of an illness. Defensive end Desmond Bryant was out with a back injury.
CAMPING OUT: Quarterback Brian Hoyer had a much better day than Campbell. Hoyer connected with Josh Cooper on a deep route for a touchdown. Cooper was being covered by Kennah. Later, Hoyer and Travis Benjamin hooked up on another deep pass. Benjamin got by the coverage of Vernon Kearney. … Shayne Graham handled the kicking duties as Brandon Bogotay rested a groin injury. … Weeden and tight end Jordan Cameron worked well together against the Lions last Thursday, connecting twice for touchdowns. Cameron worked open on a seam route in practice but couldn’t reach a ball that was slightly overthrown by Weeden. … Practice was viewed by a small contingent of season-ticket holders. Camp closed to the public last Tuesday.