Why aren’t Browns fans freaking out more about Barkevious Mingo’s injury? – Cleveland Browns Roundtable


We’ve taken to the roundtables recently as a good way to bring our email conversations back on to the front pages of the site. Today, we’re talking about Barkevious Mingo and why it seems that Browns fans are taking his injury situation in stride.

Craig: How surprised are you that there isn’t a lot of panic or fatalistic commentary regarding Barkevious Mingo’s injury? In the past if the top draft pick of the Browns got hurt in somewhat mysterious fashion before even embarking on a regular season NFL career, we’d be talking about putting it on the same timeline with Courtney Brown, Kellen Winslow, LeCharles Bentley and Staph infections. Yet, for whatever reason, I don’t get the feeling that Browns fans are letting this bother them just yet. What accounts for the low level of panic and newly renewed patience factor?

Scott: I think it definitely helps that he’s started to run and will (reportedly) increase activity leading up to Opening Day. If they end up listing him as out/doubtful for the opener, I think the clamoring will heat up.

Barkevious MingoJacob: Another point that’s valuable in this discussion: The overall expectations for Barkevious Mingo’s 2013 are lower than what usually is the case for a big Cleveland free agent signing or a No. 6 pick.

With the similar offseason additions of Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant, Mingo’s just not a huge aspect of what the Browns are doing this season. He’ll obviously be expected to be an impact player long-term. But maybe the fact that fans aren’t counting on him for immediate production has made this a surprisingly small issue.

Kirk: It certainly *could* heat up, but I think it’s because our expectations were already slightly tempered with Mingo. He’s not a starter (yet) or an every down player, and I think the other defensive additions of Kruger, Bryant, Groves, Owens, etc. to a strong core have allowed us as fans to be okay with a slower, cautious road back with Mingo.

Scott: I also wonder if the knucklehead factor plays a role here. Fans largely seem to trust Mingo. If this were Winslow, and the cause of the injury were “unknown,” I think there would be a cavalcade of speculation, each ounce tasting worse than the last.

Kirk: It’s such an off the wall thing too. How often do you hear about a bruised lung especially when he didn’t know on which play he was injured?

Mingo being an apparent high character guy certainly doesn’t hurt though.

TD: With the signing of Paul Kruger and the fact that Jabaal Sheard was able to take to the 3-4 outside LB position so well, it feels as though the need for Mingo isn’t as great. Also, he is an outside linebacker. If he played WR or RB, people would be freaking out. Nature of the beast.

Rick: It surprises me because of the unknown nature of it. Around Cleveland sports these kinds of mysteries end up being quite serious. Varejao, Jurevicius, Pinkston.

Andrew: I think it’s bizarre that this is the 3rd serious lung-related injury to Cleveland athletes in the last year. That feels like a crazy coincidence. But as to why Browns fans aren’t freaking out over Mingo, I’m not exactly sure. I think some of it might still be honeymoon period. With so many new faces in the organization, I just get the sense that a lot of fans are taking a “wait and see” approach to all matters on this season.


Now it’s up to you, the readers at WFNY. I will add one last thing, though.

How much of this has to do with the new organization from Joe Banner down? I noticed all pre-season that coach press conferences weren’t very contentious when they sure used to be with Pat Shurmur. Chud has a radio show to talk to the fans. Joe Banner gives answers and gives specific reasons why he won’t answer certain things. Guys like Alec Scheiner talk to the media. Kevin Griffin is all over Twitter and even made a point to visit with Browns backers at their tailgate in Indianapolis before the game. Have the Browns effectively disarmed a large amount of angst and paranoia (so far) with visibility and transparency?

  • KeKe

    Not sure the reason lies with Mingo, but rather the expectations surrounding a new coaching staff, scheme etc. Have to believe if previous staff remained, the conduit to optimism isn’t present.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Why would a team waste a high draft pick on a player who could play immediately? The Browns didn’t do it. The Cavaliers didn’t do it. And the Indians have never done it. Welcome to Cleveland baby!


  • Kevin Huyghe

    Jacob’s point is a huge part of it.. we have other impact players around him that are new. Also, I feel like the injury has been downplayed quite a bit.

  • Garry_Owen

    As far as I’m concerned, “visibility” and “transparency” have nothing to do with it. I don’t pay attention to that stuff, anyway, and think the attention that it gets is overblown. I can’t even spell “twitter,” and wouldn’t know where to find one if I was required to look.

    In my opinion, the fact that Mingo is not expected to do much plays the biggest part in the fans’ non-reaction. Frankly, I don’t think fans were in love with his being drafted to begin with. We didn’t hate it, but we didn’t love it. And what we could see from his on-field performance thus far hasn’t demonstrated that we’ll be missing all that much, but we hope that he’ll turn into something good eventually. Eventually doesn’t need to be tomorrow. Or next week.

  • Harv 21

    all valid writer comments. And it will probably be largely the same with the Cavs and Anthony Bennett’s injury: he’s not arriving as The Man like Kyrie or Trent Richardson, and he’s not even the presumed starter.

    To your last point, Craig, I think Chud, Banner and Haslam are in a different league than the last 3 FOs. Banner and Haslam don’t act like press interaction is a dose of castor oil, instead they use it to sell their product. And as far as this part of his job, Chud looks like he’s got this, no prob. It sets a better tone – to fold your arms, glance at your watch and sarcastically respond invites suspicion. The last guy who could speak to the press normally was Romeo. But Savage, Mangini, Kokinis (jk!), Boo Radley Randy, Holmgren with his red-faced tantrums, were just amateurish. Heckert was fine but that culture permitted him to pop out maybe twice a year.

  • Puddy

    yeah that’s right.

  • TJ

    Our front seven has depth finally. We don’t need mingo in there from
    The first to last snap every game.

  • BenRM

    I think the final point about transparency has a lot to do with it.

    I also think that matters are also helped by the fact that it appears to be such a fluke injury that shouldn’t affect things beyond this season. We all have some (limited) idea of what a torn ACL or Tommy John’s surgery means for a player’s future performance.

    A bruised lung that where no one knows how it happened? We don’t know how to respond.

    It reminds me a bit of when Witten ruptured his spleen a year (or two?) ago. Yes, it was a huge deal because he could have died, but it was a fluke injury that, once recovered from, shouldn’t have any bearing on performance and probably won’t happen again.

  • mgbode

    not expected to start. i was fully expecting Mingo to beat the Browns rookie sack record as a pass rush specialist (so, I think I was still expecting him to do alot).

    and, Wimbley’s record isn’t too easy to get. 11 sacks (of course he never achieved that total again).

  • mgbode

    or Mack’s appendectomy
    or Boldin’s broken face

  • BenRM


  • Because they are too busy watching the Indians?

  • WFNYJacob

    Thanks Kevin.

  • Jaker

    Browns fans can never win.

    When someone gets hurt early and the fans panic… Browns fans are paranoid idiots!
    When a player gets hurt and the fans don’t panic… What’s wrong with these fans?!?!?
    When no one shows up to a Tribe series… Somehow, its the fault of Browns fans

  • Mike P

    You essentially wrote what I was thinking.
    Man, are we both cynical?
    I am still on the Kenny Vaccaro bandwagon.
    Shoulda got him.

  • nj0

    When is the last time any MLB team drafted a player who could play immediately?

  • saggy

    one more minor point: just the words “lung injury” seem pretty serious. not that staph infections aren’t serious, but Mingo’s injury seems a little more “scary”. because of that, i think most people would feel a bit higher-up on the jerk thermometer for making waves about it.

    of course, add that point to the others already listed.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You got the point.

  • nj0

    Negativity gets so thick around here after a Tribe lost that I can’t tell what’s a joke and what’s serious.

  • Roosevelt

    TBH I think it reflects a general growing ambivalence toward the Browns. Maybe it’s a good thing that Banner and co. are not promising us the world, but after I saw the Browns improve under Holgrum and then demolish yet again, I kind of lost a sense of urgency. I’ve been following, but my emotional investment is pretty flatlined right now.

  • woofersus

    1. It’s not like Bentley, Brown, or Winslow. When those injuries happened we knew the season was gone. With this injury it seemed clear from the get-go that it wasn’t season ending. The bruised lung could have been really serious, but by the time we knew it was the lung and not a bruised rib or something, we already knew he wasn’t going to die and would recover to play football again – probably sooner than later.

    2. Speaking of what we knew and when, fans are generally satisfied with the team’s answers to questions on this injury. If the team had played the paranoia card like some previous regimes and obliquely dismissed it as a “rib injury” while leaving him in the hospital for two days and then listing him as “day-to-day” for three weeks while he sat completely out of individual drills there might be some conspiracy theories popping up about accidentally shooting himself while fishing on the lake or a Staph infection or a brain eating parasite or Ebola or something.

    3. Speaking of secretive responses to infections, the Staph incidents were particularly frustrating because they are preventable and seemed like a sign of carelessness and incompetence – even more so when the team tried to keep it a secret. Those kinds of things are more likely to anger fans than a fluke injury that most likely happened on the field of play. It also didn’t help that through that weirdly dysfunctional incident the team poisoned it’s relationship with a guy who was, despite his delayed start and early tendency for “knuckle-headedness,” actually a pretty darn good player once he got on the field and was pretty darn productive for the team we sent him to.
    (Just for the sake of nostalgia, remember we flipped Winslow for Mohammed Massaquoi and 1/3 of Montario Hardesty. Winslow went for 218 receptions and 2377yds over the next three seasons, more than Massaquoi will have for his career most likely unless something dramatic changes for him, and more total yards than Massaquoi and Hardesty have gained COMBINED since that deal)

    4. It certainly says something about the talent level of the team when a #6 overall pick isn’t supposed to be a savior for his unit or even a starter in his rookie year. We’d all be more worried if Paul Kruger was dinged up, who we signed partially so Mingo wouldn’t have to carry the load in year one.

    5. This is just a PSA, but it’s annoying that when the team has been fairly open about Mingo’s injury, a reporter still had to – without any evidence or sources – suggest to his readers that some horrible truth may be lurking in the darkness just for the sake of shock value. Writers can speculate as long as they are clear that they are speculating, but I feel like printing a purely speculative “Mingo MAY be out months or longer” as a bullet point in a newspaper with no further explanation is irresponsible because it IMPLIES that a source has provided this information. Of course anything MAY happen. That’s not news. We don’t know how long Mingo will be out, and if somebody with medical expertise wants to discuss the nature of lung bruises and how they may translate to football I’ll read with interest, but don’t insult my intelligence with ominous statements about what MAY happen as a one-liner.

  • maxfnmloans

    If only you had followed up Boo Radley Randy with Holgmrenicus Finch…sigh +1 anyway

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You ain’t seen nothin’ yet so hang tough! Go BoSox!

  • Kildawg

    Depth and the F.O. being upfront is making it seem like it’s not too big of a deal. Plus the coaches and F.O. aren’t being smug and full of themselves and that certainly helps.

  • JK

    Can we pick up Ros I Dowling??

  • Mingo49

    Browns fans aren’t freaking out for several reasons.

    Mainly, because 2 of our best players on defense…Sheard and Kruger…are directly ahead of him on the depth chart. Losing Mingo was like losing Hardesty: it sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. you lost a back…at least he’s a backup at this point.

    And probably just as important, it’s not as if he tore his knee and is out for the year. It’s been called a “bruise”, and fans are like “Heck, I get a bruise every day. He’ll be fine”

    But overall, this team is more well rounded. They’re deeper, and can absorb losing a player to injury for a period of time more easily, especially when that player is a backup.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Poe’s Law at its finest.

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    I think it is mostly the expectation issue,he wasn’t slated or supposed to be a starter,at least not to begin the season. Then Sheard seemed to have no problem with his transition,when added to the free agencey front seven aquisitions it just doesn’t matter all that much. I wonder if the whole point of drafting Mingo was a case of IF Sheard doesn’t make a smooth transition they have someone to hopefully take that spot on the roster. Kinda why I thought we should have drafted for a position of need and not the front 7 in the first place,Mingo was a luxury pick at a position we already had players for from free agency,even if Sheard wasn’t good at his new position. Maybe Mingo becomes great at some point cool,but for now can’t say I care about him or his injury all that much,granted it may say something about the fact so many said he needed to put on weight,if just to protect his body from impacts.

  • Not before wrapping him securely in bubble wrap first

  • folks do love a good disaster flick

  • steve-o

    Because he plays a position of depth with starters in front of him. We weren’t expecting a huge impact from him this year, and his injury does not appear to be season ending, let alone the career ending kind we are accustomed to.

  • Ryan318

    if they didn’t “need ” him that bad with all the new additions…do you think the braindead in the draft HQ should have taken a franchise corner??? or is Haden on his own with grasp and grab Buster “toast” Skrine???