Browns’ Barkevious Mingo improving from bruised lung

BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo did some running Tuesday, a few steps forward in his recovery from a bruised lung.

Mingo said he suffered the unusual injury in an exhibition game on Aug. 15 against Detroit. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Mingo, who has been doing his conditioning by riding a stationary bike, was going to “run a little bit.” Mingo did not do any running during the portion of practice open to the media.

A team spokesman confirmed that the first-round draft pick from LSU did some running, but did not provide any specifics.

Mingo will not play in Thursday’s exhibition finale against Chicago and it’s not yet known if the No. 6 overall pick will play in the Sept. 8 season opener against Miami. Chudzinski reiterated that it’s still to be determined when Mingo will return.

“We have no timetable,” he said. “We will just have to see how he progresses and how he heals. It’s really just an individual thing, from individual to individual, on how they heal.”

Chudzinski said the Browns have ruled out placing Mingo on the short-term injured reserve list, which would sideline him for half the season.

The last time he spoke with reporters, Mingo said he was following doctor’s orders and would not rush back.

Panthers put Stewart on PUP

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the team has placed Jonathan Stewart on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, meaning the veteran running back will miss at least the first six weeks of the season.

Carolina also placed guard Edmund Kugbila, the team’s fourth-round draft pick, on injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury and waived-injured defensive tackle Frank Kearse and wide receiver Joe Adams.

Stewart said his goal is to return for Carolina’s Oct. 20 game against the St. Louis Rams.

Stewart hasn’t practiced with the Panthers since undergoing offseason surgery on both ankles. He says his right ankle remains a problem.

The decision likely means more playing time for DeAngelo Williams, the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, and opens a roster spot for either Tauren Poole or Armond Smith.

NFL will look at hits to knees

NEW YORK — The NFL will keep a close eye on hits to the knees of defenseless players this season, with the possibility of extending the rules protecting such players.

Chief of football operations Ray Anderson told The Associated Press on Tuesday that if the NFL’s competition committee sees enough evidence this season that hits to the knees are “becoming a problem,” it could take action.

The committee could make a recommendation in March to the owners to prohibit direct hits to the knees of defenseless players. The owners would then vote on such a change.

Currently, hits to the head and neck of defenseless players are outlawed. But two direct hits to the knee in preseason games that injured Miami tight end Dustin Keller and Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams have drawn complaints from some players.

Jets’ Holmes practicing

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes has practiced for the first time since September, but is unsure if he will be ready for the season opener.

Holmes, recovering from a serious foot injury, said Tuesday he is not yet 100 percent but is “making good progress.” He was moved to the Jets’ active roster from the physically unable to perform list last Friday night, a sign that he could possibly be ready to go when the season starts on Sept. 8.

He participated at least on a limited basis in practice on both Monday and Tuesday to get a better sense of his limitations.

Holmes adds that he has “a long career ahead of me” and will weigh the risks of playing at less than 100 percent.