Mingo still out with lung bruise

TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer Published:

BEREA (AP) -- Barkevious Mingo's injury has gone from maybe serious to mysterious.

Cleveland's rookie linebacker remains sidelined with a bruised lung, a "freakish" injury the first-round pick believes he sustained nearly a week ago on the opening kickoff of an exhibition against Detroit.

Mingo was hospitalized for two days with the injury, which he said caused him to twice spit up blood and gave him shortness of breath before he was taken out of last Thursday's game. Mingo said he has been symptom free since last week, but it's still not clear when he was injured.

Mingo will not play in Saturday's preseason game at Indianapolis, and it's likely he will be kept of the final exhibition against Chicago as well.

On Wednesday, Mingo was seen taking a nap while lying across several chairs in the locker room. After he woke up, he told reporters that he has improved, but that doctors still aren't allowing him to practice. He reiterated that he does not think the injury occurred before last week's 24-6 win over the Lions, and said he had never had those symptoms before experiencing them on the sideline.

"Everything is feeling good," Mingo said. "Everyone is happy with the progress and now we're just waiting to see what the doctors say, so we can get back."

Mingo was last seen by doctors and had more tests on Tuesday, but the No. 6 overall pick has not been cleared to practice and hasn't been told when he'll be able to return to the field. For the moment, he's only allowed to observe practice, and doctors have discouraged him from doing any running.

Mingo was joined on the sideline by starting outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard, who was held out with an unspecified knee injury. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski did not mention Sheard as one of the players who would miss practice when he was asked for a list earlier in the day. During practice, a team spokesman said Sheard is day-to-day.

The sight of Mingo and Sheard standing side-by-side on the sideline with towels draped over their heads had to be concerning to the Browns, who are counting on the pair to rush the quarterback. With Sheard out, Quentin Groves worked with Cleveland's first-team defense on the opposite side of Paul Kruger.

The Browns will wait for Mingo's bruise to heal completely before he's allowed back on the field. He's promised he'll try to be a patient patient.

"I'm listening to the doctors, listening to the coaches," he said. "That's all I know."

BROWNS

CLEVELAND -- Browns starting wide receivers Greg Little and Josh Gordon have both received tickets for excessive speeding and their behavior has been deemed "unacceptable" by the team.

Little was involved in a single-car accident in April, when he admitted to driving 127 mph, WOIO-TV reported on Monday after obtaining records from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department. Little hit a guardrail, knocked down a light pole and left 40 yards of brake tracks.

He was fined $350.

Earlier this week, Little was cited for driving 81 mph in a 60 mph and for driving with expired plates.

Gordon was ticketed last week for driving 98 mph in a 60 mph zone, the TV station reported.

The Browns issued a statement condemning the player's actions.

"We're aware of the situation involving the players and their unacceptable driving records," the statement said. "We take matters such as this very seriously. We've spoken to both individuals, and will address the issue with the entire team."

None of the incidents involved alcohol, the team said.

Attorney Pat D'Angelo, who is representing Little and Gordon, told the station the matters are being resolved.

Little, who is in his third year with Cleveland, has had a strong training camp and has been praised by coach Rob Chudzinski and others for his strong work ethic.

Gordon is suspended from the Browns' first two regular-season games after violating the NFL's drug policy.

LIONS

DETROIT -- The Lions' offense has one more chance to get going during the preseason.

The starters played seven series in Detroit's first two exhibition games -- a win over the Jets and a loss in Cleveland -- and managed only a pair of field goals. They won't get much playing time in the fourth preseason game, so Thursday's meeting with the New England Patriots is it.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford isn't too concerned because of the offense's play in practice.

"Offense is about execution, and we just haven't done that as well as we needed during the games," he said. "But I'm really pleased with where we are as an offense. We had a great offseason off the field, bringing in new guys, and now we've had a great offseason on the field. We've got a lot of guys who have worked very hard and stepped up their games this year."

Nate Burleson, still working his way back to full strength after last season's broken leg, knows that the Lions need to find a second receiver to take some of the pressure off Calvin Johnson. The offense ground to a halt with Johnson out in Cleveland.

"This game is the biggest indication of how your starters are going to perform, and we haven't done that yet," he said. "We need to get going and build some momentum going into the regular season."

Coach Jim Schwartz recalled that when he was an assistant in Tennessee, the Colts would seemingly go 0-4 every preseason "and have an offense that couldn't gain a yard."

"And then every year, Peyton (Manning) would come out firing, and they'd have the No. 1 offense in the NFL," he said. "The most important thing is to see how the unknowns fit into your system. Last week, we got a chance to work Reggie Bush into our passing game, and that went well."

Still, the Lions can't help but want to compare themselves against the Patriots and Tom Brady, who safety Louis Delmas called "the closest thing we have to God on the football field."

"You watch him, and you know that is the level that every quarterback wants to reach," Stafford said. "You find yourself wanting to match what he does."

STEELERS

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers' crowded backfield is sorting itself out.

Just not the way coach Mike Tomlin envisioned.

What started as a three-man race between Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and rookie Le'Veon Bell is turning into a battle of attrition after Tomlin ruled Bell out of Saturday's game against Kansas City with a right foot injury.

Bell underwent an MRI on Tuesday and Tomlin said he will wait for a second opinion before making a determination about Bell's long-term status. Tomlin brushed aside reports that Bell is out several weeks.

"I'll address the injuries (Thursday)," Tomlin said. "I haven't met with the doctors (yet)."

The setback is the latest in what is quickly becoming a frustrating camp for the 48th overall pick in the NFL Draft. The Steelers noted Bell's durability and his versatility when they selected the 21-year-old out of Michigan State. Bell's 382 carries last season led the entire country. Throw in his 32 receptions and Bell averaged more than 30 touches a game without incident.

For two weeks, Bell looked even better than advertised, so good Tomlin named Bell a co-starter even though a sore left knee kept him out of the preseason opener against the New York Giants. Bell aggravated the injury in practice last week only to recover in time to start on Monday night in Washington.

The highly anticipated debut lasted a handful of snaps. Bell carried four times for nine yards before tweaking a foot with an injury that suddenly swings the door open for Dwyer and Redman.

PACKERS

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Getting Aaron Rodgers back after a sick day wasn't enough to keep Packers coach Mike McCarthy from being in a somewhat sour mood.

His quarterback looked just fine Wednesday after sitting out a practice due to illness. The team as whole? Not so much.

"Today was the final practice to get ready for the Seahawks," McCarthy said, referring to Green Bay's preseason opponent Friday night. "We were in pads today for a reason. We didn't take full advantage of the opportunity to get ready to play."

To the untrained eye, practice appeared as if it went relatively smoothly. Rodgers, the 2011 NFL Most Valuable Player, delighted training camp fans by hitting nets from at least 20 yards away during accuracy drills. Working against mainly against the second-string defense, Rodgers looked sharp during a red-zone drill with four straight touchdown strikes, including a laser-like pass to tight end Jake Stoneburner.

Before the ring of reporters around his locker could ask a question, Rodgers declared "I'm fine." The head cold that kept him out Tuesday apparently wasn't an issue any more.

McCarthy concurred before disclosing more pressing issues.

"I thought Aaron Rodgers looked fine. I thought practice in general ... I thought we started off the way it needed to be; I need to get a look at the video," McCarthy said. "I wasn't very happy with the way we practiced once we got to the 'move the ball' periods, so as far as individual performance, I'm a little jaded right now."

He didn't name names. But rest assured, the Packers will hear about whatever's bothering the head coach.

RAVENS-COLTS

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens acquired running back Delone Carter from the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday in a trade for wide receiver David Reed.

The deal involves two players who have seen limited playing time in the NFL.

Reed, 26, has five career receptions for 66 yards over three years. All five catches came last year. To this point in his career, his biggest plays have come on special teams.

As a rookie in 2010, he led the NFL by averaging 29.3 yards per kickoff return. That included a 103-yard return for a touchdown to open the second half at Houston.

Jacoby Jones is returning kickoffs for the Ravens no, and Reed was buried on the depth chart at wide receiver.

But the 6-foot, 195-pounder has a shot at making an impression with the Colts.

"This trade gives us a chance to improve in key areas moving forward," Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson said. "David is a very competitive football player and we welcome his style of play and energy. At the same time, we wish Delone well with his opportunity to play for another first-class organization and we thank him for his efforts."

Carter has started three games over two seasons with the Colts, running 133 times for 499 yards and five touchdowns. He was a fourth-round pick out of Syracuse in the 2011 draft.

His best season came as a rookie, when he ran for 377 yards on 101 carries.

Although the Ravens already have Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce at running back, the 5-foot-9, 232-pound Carter might be used in short-yardage situations.

TEXANS

HOUSTON -- Houston running back Arian Foster was removed from the physically unable to perform list Wednesday and practiced with the Texans for the first time since May.

Foster strained his right calf in an offseason practice in late May and struggled with a sore back after recovering from that injury.

"It's really important," coach Gary Kubiak said. "He's been working, it's not like he's been standing around. He's been trying to get all that soreness out and he felt really good the last two days. I think we took a big step forward."

Kubiak thought that Foster would have returned to practice sooner than he did, but he understood why he was out as long as he was.

"I was watching him work and watching what he was going though so I felt confident that we were close and ready to go," Kubiak said. "I also understand how important it was that they did it at the right time. The key is Arian felt good about it today and that's the most important thing."

Foster rushed for 1,424 yards and 15 touchdowns last year for his third straight 1,200-yard season.

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