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Browns' Pinkston returns, not with starters

5/16/2013

Some good news from Browns minicamp Thursday: guard Jason Pinkston is back on the field.

This marks the first participation for Pinkston since he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung on Oct. 19. He was cleared medically last month, but he sat out the team's first minicamp four weeks ago.

Pinkston, though, wasn't working with the starters. According to The Plain Dealer, last year’s starting right guard, Shawn Lauvao, is lining up at Pinkston’s old left guard spot and John Greco, who replaced Pinkston at left guard last season, is at right guard.

I wouldn't read too much into the lineup on May 16. It looks like the Browns want to ease Pinkston back into the lineup. If he returns to the level he was playing at last year, he should be the starter again this year. Pinkston has started every game, all 22 of them, since he was drafted in the fifth round in 2011.

If the Browns are going to make a change on the offensive line, I would replace Lauvao, who committed eight penalties and allowed three sacks last year, with Greco.

The Browns decided not to upgrade the guard position this offseason. They declined to pursue a free agent like Louis Vasquez and didn't draft an offensive lineman until the seventh round.

Still, the Browns have the best offensive line in the division, with tackles Joe Thomas and Mitchell Schwartz along with center Alex Mack.