Just when things were going so well for the Cleveland Browns, a respected thoracic surgeon speculated that rookie Barkevious Mingo's unusual injury could keep him out a while.
Mingo, an outside linebacker who was the sixth pick of the draft, has been in the hospital for two days with a bruised lung (he was released Saturday morning, ESPNCleveland.com reported). Sounds painful, and Dr. Clark Fuller, Director of Thoracic Surgery at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., told the Cleveland Plain Dealer he's never heard of a football player having this injury.
"I played football through college, and I've never heard of any football player having this,'' Fuller said. "Usually the only people I've treated with this were bull riders. It takes a really big whack to bruise a lung. It's hard to do. You've got to really get hit.''
Fuller speculated that Mingo could need two-to-three weeks to heal, which could put his recovery time right up against the Sept. 8 opener against Miami.
Even weirder, the Browns can't figure out when Mingo got hurt.
“We looked at the tape. There wasn’t a big hit that we could see,” coach Rob Chudzinski said, according to ESPNCleveland.com. “Obviously, he had a number of plays where there was some contact but it was hard to determine which one it was.”
It's important to note that Fuller hasn't treated Mingo so he's not dealing with complete information on the player when he speaks of his injury. But for the Browns, one of the unluckiest franchises in the NFL, losing a star rookie who looked tremendous in the preseason opener to an injury that is usually associated with bull riders, it's not the news they wanted with the season approaching quickly.