FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Nick Mangold is set to return to his spot in the middle of the New York Jets’ offensive line.
The veteran center was listed as probable for the game Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars after fully participating in practice Friday. He was limited Thursday in his return to team drills after being injured late in New York’s loss at New England on Oct. 25.
Mangold missed only the fourth game of his 10-year career last Sunday at Oakland, where he was replaced by Wesley Johnson.
“I had a good day today,” said the six-time Pro Bowler, adding that he’s trying not to dwell on the injury. “There’s always concern any time that you step on the field. Anything can happen. So, you’ve got to have a clear mind doing it.”
He has maintained his sense of humor while recovering, including Friday, when he was asked how he would characterize the neck.
“It’s a neck,” Mangold deadpanned. “It attaches the head to the body.”
All kidding aside, he added that his injury is “ongoing” but said he “put some good work in today and we’ll see how it goes.”
Mangold went through his normal routine at practice Friday with no limitations. He doesn’t expect to wear any brace or special equipment for extra support for his neck.
“Nah, I mean, there’s not much you can do,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to look around and see things, so a brace would be kind of a hindrance.”
Safety Calvin Pryor (ankle) was ruled out for the second straight week by coach Todd Bowles, leaving Marcus Gilchrist and Dion Bailey as the team’s only healthy players at the position. Bowles didn’t rule out promoting Rontez Miles from the practice squad, and said several players worked out at the spot during the week, including Bailey, Miles and cornerbacks Dee Milliner and Marcus Williams.
Bailey, a second-year player who spent last season with Seattle, is likely to get his first start with the Jets on Sunday. Bowles used Williams at strong safety last week, but Bailey saw increased snaps during the week at practice.
“I’ve definitely got a much stronger grasp on the playbook,” said Bailey, claimed off waivers on Sept. 28. “I’ll definitely play faster come Sunday.”
Milliner is on the Jets’ short-term injured reserve list after hurting a tendon in his right wrist that required surgery during training camp. The team has until next Tuesday to activate the 2013 first-round draft pick or he’ll be placed on season-ending injured reserve. Bowles said he would guess that Milliner would not be activated in time to play Sunday, saying it’s “more a numbers thing” as far as roster sports.
Running back Bilal Powell (ankle) is doubtful, while wide receiver Brandon Marshall (ankle/toe), guard Willie Colon (knee) and cornerback Buster Skrine (shoulder, hand) are all questionable. Marshall leads the Jets with 50 catches for 686 yards.
“He’s got to get a little better,” Bowles said of Marshall’s chances of playing. “But, I’m hopeful that he will.”
As expected, quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick (left thumb) and Geno Smith (left shoulder) are probable, as is rookie wide receiver Devin Smith (foot).
Wide receiver Eric Decker (left knee) is also probable and fully practiced Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday.
NOTES: A day after RB Chris Ivory suggested there were a lot of missed assignments by the offensive line last weekend, Colon supported his teammate. “Chris is our running back and we love him,” Colon said. “I’ve come out and Nick (Mangold) has come out and stated that we haven’t been our sharpest up front at times, but I think to a lot of the beat writers who have been around this team and understand this team know(s) Chris and he has our best interests, not only as an offensive line, but as a running back. Sometimes, it is what it is. I felt like what he said was accurate and we back his comment. We’ve just got to step our game up to make sure we get him going a lot faster.” … After a mistake-filled game with missed tackles at Oakland, Bowles liked the effort he saw from his team at practice this week. “It looks like we got some of the kinks out,” he said. “We’ve just got to go out there and prove it on Sunday.”
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