BEREA, Ohio--Browns top pick Barkevious Mingo was officially cleared to play this week's game with the Ravens and he couldn't be happier.
"I'v been waiting," Mingo said. "After watching last week's (loss to the Dolphins), I just want to get out on the field and now I can do that."
Mingo suffered a bruised lung on the opening kickoff against the Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium in the second preseason game on Aug. 15. He said he spit up blood and experienced shortness of breath during the game and was hospitalized for two days at the Cleveland Clinic.
Mingo has been practicing for the past two weeks in individual drills during the portion available for the media to watch. However, Rob Chudzinski announced Wednesday morning that Mingo was cleared to play this week. However, Chudzinski didn't say what role Mingo will have.
"We have to see when he gets out there at practice and go from there."
Mingo thinks he can help the Browns immediately, despite playing in just one preseason game. In the game he played in against the Rams, Mingo had a sack that was nullified when the Browns accepted a penalty. He said the veterans have helped him to stay 'mentally sharp'.
"It's up to the coaches (whether they think) I'm ready for this week," Mingo said. "If I'm practicing well, and they think I can help the team win, then hopefully, they'll let me play.
"I feel I bring a lot to this team and the coaches can use me in a lot of different ways," he said. "I think thats the best part about it and like I said, obviously, I'm ready to get it done and just ready to play."
Mingo said he isn't afraid to get back on the field since suffering the injury.
"I feel better knowing that I am able to play if I'm called upon," he said. "I'm just ready to play, (whether it's a) hit, no hit, tackle, sack, it doesn't matter, I'm just ready to get back on the field."
When Mingo was drafted sixth-overall by the Browns from LSU, Mingo's mother Barbara, talked about not wanting her son to play football when he was in high school. He didn't play football until his junior year of high school. He said he's had to re-assure her that he's fine.
"I want to be back out there," he said "She was worried and still is. She asks me every day how I'm doing and I just keep letting her know that I'm doing good and I feel good. The coaches and the doctors both agree that I'm able to play and I'm ready to play, so things should be ok."
Mingo doesn't know what his role will be, but he's anxious to join the mix on the front seven that accounted for four sacks last week.
"It was tough sitting there and watching, because you feel you could help the team win," he said. "(The defense) got after it.
"They made the plays, but we just fell short."
Chudzinski said Mingo will add depth immediately on the front seven.
"We'll get a pretty good rotation with those guys."
Mingo just wants the chance to play and plans to do everything he can this week to impress the coaches that he's ready.
"If (the coaches) feel I can't, then that's their decision," he said. "Hopefully, I can get the chance to get out there and play."