CLEVELAND - Don't expect a full load of work for Browns rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo on Sunday in Baltimore against the Ravens.
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton likes the idea of having Mingo back from a bruised lung, but he knows Mingo will have to be limited. His role will likely be as a rush end on passing downs and perhaps an occasional play at outside linebacker in the base defense.
"We're going to ease him in," Horton said. "Obviously he's a first-round pick and you want him on the field as much as you can. I also want to realize that he's played only seven plays total in the NFL. I don't want to throw him in there and say, 'Go!' He'll be playing for the first time, and I want to eliminate the error factor."
Horton has spoken highly of Mingo's skill set since offseason training activities (OTAs). He can't wait to have a healthy Mingo capable of playing at full capacity.
"Unless you talk to him about football, sometimes I don't think his intelligence comes across, meaning you don't see what he does.
"I want to let him go and make his errors and big plays. I'll find out what he does well. I don't want to overload him in his first game, but I also want to give him some soft pitches to hit. I want to give him less thinking and more reaction."
MY BAD: Horton took blame for his call that led to Brian Hartline's 34-yard touchdown reception for the Dolphins. Hartline, who was facing press man coverage against cornerback Buster Skrine, beat Skrine on an out-and-up route. Horton had been making calls that had Skrine playing off the receiver.
"That turned out to be the winning play of the game," Horton said. "I appreciate what Buster did. He was hurt last week. We weren't sure if he was going to play. He has fantastic physical and mental toughness."
MISSING PARTS: The Super Bowl champion Ravens parted ways with several key players in the offseason, including linebacker Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed and Browns linebacker Paul Kruger. The player quarterback Joe Flacco will miss the most is receiver Anquan Boldin, who was traded to the 49ers for salary-cap reasons.
"Anytime you miss a player like that, you're going to feel it a little bit, but we're confident in our young guys that they're going to develop into really good players," Flacco said. "You can't put into words how much you miss Anquan. He's a great player. You have to adapt and adjust, and I think we're doing that."
ONE-ON-ONE: Offensive coordinator Norv Turner looks at the pass protection problems as more of an individual problem than a collective poor effort.
"Our protection problems were more a one-man, physical situation than a scheme situation," Turner said. "Our big protection problems came late in the game when we were trying to get back into it and were in the no-huddle."
OUCH: The Browns have lost 10 straight games to the Ravens, all with Flacco at quarterback. The Browns' last victory (33-30 in overtime) came on Nov. 18, 2007.
INJURY UPDATE: Defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin (calf) and guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle) missed practice. Safety T.J. Ward (shoulder), who sat out Wednesday's practice, returned.