FLORHAM PARK, NJ - It was a scary moment for Jets fans when they saw Nick Mangold laying face down on the field in pain. So, you can imagine it was even scarier for him, even if he won't let us in on the details of just how scary it was.
"Just a scary time. I won't let you get into the dark recesses of the mind there," Mangold joked. "The same (as always) for me."
You know Mangold as a big, tough guy and probably assume that pain doesn't faze him but he doesn't understand why anyone would think that about him. Maybe we just don't know him well enough.
"See I'm just a big baby. I don't know where ya'll get this high pain treshold business," Mangold said. "Ya'll should talk to my wife, she knows. (I'm a) big ol' baby."
Mangold said he's feeling better and that the injury is "progressing in the right direction," but as for whether or not he'll be ready to play on Sunday he said, "It just depends on how I feel."
When asked if he could play if the game was tomorrow Mangold joked, "I don't know, luckily the game is not tomorrow." But what about if the game was today? "I don't know, luckily it's not today... It's on Sunday."
Todd Bowles said Mangold is still sore and, obviously hasn't practiced yet, if he can't practice tomorrow Bowles would be "a little less optimistic," but Bowles also knows how vital Mangold is to this offense and admitted that if he doesn't practice all week but says he's ready to go on Sunday then they will likely trust him.
"You have to have a good feel for your players and it's a matter of them wanting to play and another matter of you protecting them from themselves," Bowles said. "Nick is an honest guy and we trust everything he says, but we got to get a better feel from him when he talks to us and we'll go from there. So, If he says that (he's ready to play) then we'll try to get him some snap drills just to make sure he's telling the truth, if not then it won't happen."
Mangold agrees, he's done it before and he'll do it again if he's able to.
"Yeah, I think that I've done that before," Mangold said. "I've gone through without practicing then played in the game so it all just depends on how things respond and seeing how I feel."
If Mangold can't go on Sunday it will either be Dakota Dozier or Wesley Johnson filling in for him. The two are splitting first-team reps in practice all week and Bowles said they will look at the practice film and see who looks more comfortable and is making the better calls before making that decision. If Dozier or Johnson get the nod then Mangold will just have to help them as much as he can from the sidelines.
"I think just be a steady presence, helping along, seeing different looks, trying to answer any questions they have but at the same time not try to step on any toes. Not try to intrude too much," Mangold said. "I had the same situation with Dalton (Freeman) last year, in the Miami game, tried to be there for him, try to help out as much as possible, not only for the guys playing center but also for the guards and tackles and if he anyone else needs some help or to watch anything it's always good to have an extra set of eyes."
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/Scout.com. He can reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (email@example.com)