September 3, 2014

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Browns Notes: RB Trent Richardson says he’ll be ready for start of training camp, downplays leg injury again

BEREA – Running back Trent Richardson said he’ll practice when training camp opens, his injury isn’t any worse than the announced lower-leg strain and he hasn’t lost weight or strength from taking migraine medication.
While refuting items in a report, he also emphasized he’s anxious to get back on the field with his teammates.
“I still expect to be out there Day 1 (of training camp),” he said Wednesday following minicamp practice. “People are saying I’ve got another injury, and it’s farther than what people are saying it is. And, no, it’s not.
“Coach has got me out for precautionary reasons. It’s nothing that big to worry about. So it’s going to be better for me, better for the team, better for everybody and make sure that I be back late-July or early August, whenever we do start our real camp.”
WKNR 850-AM reported Tuesday that Richardson would miss the start of training camp, be out until August and the team is worried that the strain near his right shin could develop into a stress fracture.
Coach Rob Chudzinski said Tuesday he expects Richardson to be ready for the start of training camp. Richardson, who suffered the injury in the second week of organized team activities, said he hasn’t been told the team will keep him out until August.
“And I know I will not be out for that long,” he said.
He said he would be practicing and playing if there were a game Sunday.
“Y’all wouldn’t even be talking about none of this right now. Y’all wouldn’t even know there was nothing even wrong with my leg,” he said.
Richardson said he didn’t know how the injury happened, but it wasn’t from being stepped on. He told reporters last week he didn’t have an MRI and said Wednesday he hadn’t had any further tests.
“Nah, no re-examination,” he said. “There ain’t no training table. The only thing you can do is just rest. So that’s all they got me doing.
“I don’t have no pain in it right now. I can walk. I can ride the bike all day and don’t have no pain in it.”
Richardson again rode the stationary bike and worked on the side with trainers before watching practice. He’ll sit out again today for the final day of minicamp. The veterans are then off until training camp, which is expected to start July 26.
“I can’t wait. I can’t wait to be out here with the guys finishing plays down the field, running past the last defender, leading the drills,” Richardson said. “That’s stuff that I miss doing.”
WKNR’s report also stated Richardson was losing weight because he was taking migraine medication and unable to do a full weight-lifting program. Richardson contradicted the report.
“As far as not lifting, I lift just like everybody,” he said. “I just got done lifting yesterday. I can outlift anybody in the weight room, in my head.
“I don’t know where they’re coming up with all these different reports about migraines, this and that, and I haven’t even had a problem at all with migraines lately.”
Richardson has been bothered by migraines throughout his life and controls it with medication. He missed one training camp practice last year.
Richardson said he’s close to his ideal weight. He played around 230 pounds last season and wants to be about 7 lighter in his second year.
“I want to play at like 223. I’m 225 right now,” he said. “I want to stay at that as far as me being able to be more shifty like I was in college.”

MINGO’S GOAL
Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the No. 6 pick in the draft, has spent most of the offseason working with the second team but still hopes to be the starter by the opener in September.
“I’m very determined. That’s the goal,” he said. “That should be everybody’s goal. You want to play, you want to help the team win, but you’ve got to put in the work.
“It’s a learning curve. I’ve been thrown into a different position.”
Mingo, who is making the conversion from defensive end, is behind Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard, so it won’t be easy cracking the starting lineup.
“Those are some big-time guys,” Mingo said.
Mingo could open the year as a situational pass rusher, much like Aldon Smith did as a rookie in San Francisco in 2011, when he totaled 14 sacks.
Sacks aren’t allowed in OTAs and minicamp, but Mingo has shown the ability to affect the line of scrimmage. He rejected a Jason Campbell pass Tuesday and tipped a Brian Hoyer pass Wednesday that was intercepted by cornerback Trevin Wade to end a two-minute drive.
“Just vision on the quarterback, just watching his eyes when he’s getting ready to release the ball and timing it up perfectly,” Mingo said.
Everything wasn’t perfect for him Wednesday. On a red zone run, he got caught inside and allowed running back Dion Lewis to turn the corner for a touchdown. An assistant coach was quick to point out the mistake.
“Mingo, read your keys,” he shouted.

TIGHT END TALES
Jordan Cameron pulled up with a sore left hamstring after catching a pass in the corner of the end zone from quarterback Brandon Weeden. Cameron quickly reached for the hamstring and went to an adjacent field with a trainer.
The trainer stretched the leg and wrapped it and Cameron didn’t return to practice. He missed part of the OTAs with a groin strain.
“We’ll find out tomorrow,” Chudzinski said of the severity of the hamstring injury. “I think he was a little tight.”
Gary Barnidge (6-foot-5, 250 pounds), a free-agent signee from Carolina, has taken advantage of the extra repetitions in Cameron’s absence. He has made several catches throughout the offseason, including a nifty one-hander Wednesday when he tipped the ball to himself.
“It was just out there a little bit and I couldn’t get my other hand out there,” Barnidge said. “I just got the one hand on it and tapped it to myself.”
He has only 18 catches in four NFL seasons and came to town with the reputation as a blocker first.
“Gary is a guy who had some injuries earlier in his career,” said Chudzinski, who was his coordinator with the Panthers. “I think he is a versatile guy who can do both and he is getting better.”

SORRY, MR. PRESIDENT
Outside linebacker Paul Kruger won a Super Bowl in February with the Ravens, but missed out on their trip to the White House on Wednesday. He was practicing with the Browns instead.
“I would’ve liked to be there, but this is something we’re building here,” he said. “It’s a new team, so I’ve got to show my loyalties where they are.”
Kruger signed a five-year, $40.5 million contract in March.

HIGHLIGHT REEL
Cornerback Joe Haden had several breakups, continuing his solid offseason. He jammed a finger or hand on one play, but stayed in and appeared to be fine.
** Under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, the Browns aren’t afraid to attack. They took several shots deep in the two-minute drills, even though they were in field-goal range.
** Weeden threw a dart down the middle between two defenders for a touchdown to receiver Davone Bess, who made a diving catch.

EXTRA POINTS
Owner Jimmy Haslam and his father watched practice from the sideline.
** CEO Joe Banner watched a chunk of practice from behind the huddle with the coaches, then joined general manager Michael Lombardi on the sideline.
** Rookie safety Jamoris Slaughter (knee), receiver Jordan Norwood (hamstring), receiver David Nelson (knee) and rookie offensive lineman Chris Faulk (knee) remained sidelined.
** Undrafted rookie defensive back Vernon Kearney (6-2, 185) from Lane College is participating in minicamp on a tryout.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.