Browns’ camp mystery

Published 1:41 am Wednesday, August 5, 2009

BEREA — Carrying his cleats but still without pads or his orange helmet, Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards emerged from Cleveland’s locker room on Tuesday and slowly strolled onto the practice field, walking a few feet behind new coach Eric Mangini.

Edwards then took a familiar turn: To the stationary bikes.

The wide receiver missed his fourth day of practice with an injury growing more mysterious with each passing day.

Mangini, who has refused to reveal the nature of Edwards’ injury or a timetable for his return, reiterated that Cleveland’s top playmaker will join his teammates for drills when he is medically cleared by the Browns’ training staff.

‘‘We’ll keep evaluating it and as soon as they do, he’ll be out there,’’ Mangini said.

It’s remains unclear the ‘‘it’’ Mangini is referring to. Neither Cleveland’s first-year coach nor Edwards has offered any specifics on the injury, which is assumed to be the same one that sidelined the former Pro Bowler during the team’s mini-camp in June.

There have been reports that he hurt his ankle playing basketball.

On Saturday’s opening day of camp, Edwards redirected questions about his injury to Mangini.

How did you get hurt, Braylon?

‘‘Talk to coach Mangini about that and see what he says,’’ Edwards said.

Was it playing hoops?

‘‘Talk to coach,’’ he said.

Coach?

‘‘He has an injury,’’ Mangini said.

Edwards was placed on the ‘‘active non-football injury’’ list last week, one day after he was late reporting to the Browns’ first camp under Mangini and after failing his physical. Edwards had been told to arrive early with the team’s rookies because of his injury, but the talented 26-year-old, who has had his share of problems during four seasons in Cleveland, was tardy.

Mangini is attempting to instill discipline in his team, prompting speculation that he’s keeping Edwards out of practice as punishment.

There is also the possibility the Browns could be trying to deal Edwards, whose name previously was mentioned in trade rumors with the New York Giants before April’s draft.

Whatever Edwards’ injury is, he’s not been favoring his ankle or legs while working on the side with Cleveland’s conditioning coaches. In addition to riding the bike, he has stepped through an agility ladder, worked on running pass routes and run sprints.