FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Jets might be without the man in the middle of their offensive line.
Center Nick Mangold appears unlikely to play Sunday at Cleveland because of a sprained right ankle that has him in a walking boot.
“It doesn’t look good right now,” coach Todd Bowles said Thursday. “He’s not running yet. He’s walking. As the days go by, if he’s not running yet, it doesn’t look good. But we’ll hold out another day or so.”
Mangold was injured early in the first quarter against Baltimore last Sunday and was replaced by Wesley Johnson. That would likely be the plan again against the Browns, although the Jets signed center Kyle Friend to the practice squad this week.
“You have a hard time replacing Nick,” offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. “There’s a guy that’s been an All-Pro and plays at a high level every week, a highly intelligent football player that manages a lot of things for you. We have a lot of confidence in Wesley, but at the same time, some of those other players are going to have to take some ownership and leadership in this thing as well, so that we get everything communicated correctly.”
Rookie linebacker Darron Lee will miss his second straight game with a sprained ankle. The first-round draft pick was the Jets’ leading tackler at the time of his injury at Arizona two weeks ago. Like Mangold, Lee was also wearing a walking boot during practice.
Offensive lineman Brent Qvale (neck) and linebacker Bruce Carter (quadriceps) have also been ruled out.
Running back Matt Forte (knee) sat out practice because the Jets wanted to keep him off the turf during the indoor session, but Bowles said he’ll play Sunday.
Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (high ankle sprain), left tackle Ryan Clady (shoulder), cornerback Buster Skrine (knee) and safety Antonio Allen (Achilles) also didn’t practice.
Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was out for a second straight day with an excused absence. After the win over the Ravens, Richardson said an uncle had been killed last week. Bowles expected Richardson to return Friday and play Sunday.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (foot), defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle), running back Bilal Powell (turf toe) and tight end Kellen Davis (hip) were all limited.
Wilkerson missed last week’s game with the injury, which is lingering soreness from the broken leg he suffered in the season finale in January.
“It’s the tendon by the ankle that’s bothering me,” he said. “I’m just rehabbing it and getting treatment every day.”
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