Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo was lucky to escape with a bruised lung after suffering what one doctor called a "very, very unusual" injury during last Thursday's 24-6 preseason victory over the Detroit Lions.
Mingo revealed Sunday that he was spitting up blood after taking a hit on a kickoff return. According to The Plain Dealer, the estimated mortality rate on Mingo's injury is "about 14 percent to 40 percent."
In fact, Dr. Clark Fuller, director of thoracic surgery at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., told The Plain Dealer that the linebacker would have risked death had he remained in the game and taken a hit to the chest.
Fuller did not treat Mingo, but he explained that the linebacker had already torn small blood vessels, "And if you tear some larger ones, the chest cavity is an area where you could bleed to death and nobody ever sees a drop of blood on the ground."
Mingo skirted disaster by going straight to the coaches because he "didn't feel right" and had trouble catching his breath.
Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton realizes that his first-round draft pick is fortunate to miss only the remainder of preseason action. "We're just happy it's not a career- or season-ending injury," Horton said. "But they're all serious when they miss playing time."
Browns CEO Joe Banner said Monday the team does not have a timetable for Mingo's return.
Once Mingo gets back on the field, Horton should have an impact pass rusher on his hands. TheMMQB.com's Peter King and Pro Football Focus' Neil Hornsby both identified the No. 6 overall pick as the most impressive rookie on their training camp tours.