“I’m pretty sure I’ll be 100 percent by training camp,” Mingo said. “Right now, the shoulder is feeling great. I’ve been getting the rehab, taking all the necessary steps to come back stronger so I can contribute a lot more next year.”
Mingo played pretty much the entire 2014 season with a shoulder injury after getting hurt in the season opener against the Steelers. On top of playing hurt, Mingo had to adjust to coach Mike Pettine's defensive scheme, which required Mingo to drop back in pass coverage more than use him as a pass rusher.
Mingo hasn't quite lived up to the expectations that followed him as a high first-round draft pick in 2013, but that hasn't put a damper on his outlook.
“I feel next year will be a good year,” Mingo said. “I have the experience under my belt. I know what to expect, and it’s the same playbook as last year, so I’ll have that as an advantage as well. Now it’s just coming down to getting ready to play and putting it on the field.”
Mingo added that he felt like he was playing the entire 2014 season with a sling on his left arm and that he couldn't even lift the arm above his head while wearing shoulder pads. He insisted he could still produce on the field and postponed the surgery until the offseason.
"We don’t want to make excuses for a guy," coach Mike Pettine said. "But this is a guy that could have shut it down. He decided to go ahead and play with the harness. To me, that’s a credit to him. There’s a level of consistency that he needs to achieve, but I think for the most part that he trended upward as the season went on as he got a little bit more comfortable in the role."
Pettine indicated that Mingo is progressing well enough that the linebacker might be able to participate in OTAs in April.
It's unclear whether the injury will force Mingo to miss any offseason workout time.
Appearing in 15 games, Mingo finished the year with 42 tackles and two sacks.
Mingo has appeared in 12 games and registered 42 combined tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery.
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