Cleveland Browns receiver Braylon Edwards practiced for the first time in training camp Wednesday after the team took him off the non-football injury list.
Edwards suffered an unspecified injury in June and missed all of the team’s minicamp and the start of training camp.
The four-year veteran had been limited to riding a stationary bike, agility drills and light running because of an apparent leg injury that Browns coach Eric Mangini has been keeping under wraps.
“It was nothing more that I can do on the side that I couldn’t do on the practice field. So yesterday they gave me the green light. I passed the running test with no problems, and I’m here today,” Edwards said.
Edwards struggled but led the Browns last year with 55 receptions and 873 yards. He said he was pleased he was able to practice Wednesday.
“I got a chance to go out there today and it felt all right getting back into the mix of things,” he said. “It’s one thing to watch on the side, and it’s another thing to actually go through and participate. So it felt good.”
Edwards, 26, is playing in the final year of his contract and expects to have a bounce-back season. The Browns finished 4-12 in 2008.
“The Browns and I are on the same page, and my team is on the same page,” Edwards said. “I’ve never made any contract [demands], so I don’t know where that would come from. That’s just more rumors and hearsay to spark up more controversy.”
Although the Browns had placed him on the “active non-football injury list,” Edwards didn’t appear to be injured during the practices he missed. The mysterious circumstances surrounding his injury — Mangini gave no specifics — led to speculation that he was being punished for arriving one day late to camp.
But Edwards said Mangini was not penalizing him by keeping him out of pads.
“It was the complete opposite,” he said. “I respect Coach Mangini, because through this whole system he’s been by me, he’s supported me. He and I have talked. Anything that I want to talk about or I feel, I can easily go up those steps and the door’s open for me. I never felt that way [being punished].
“In fact, I thought he was taking care of me in a sense. He didn’t want me to come out here until I felt I was right, until the trainers felt I was right, so I wouldn’t come out here and reinjure whatever. So I really like this guy and I’m really happy to play for him right now.”
Mangini isn’t concerned with Edwards’ past.
“The thing that I ask all the players is that they focus on today, doing all the things today the right way,” Mangini said. “Braylon is no different than anybody else in that group. He has done the things I’ve asked him to do.”