FLORHAM PARK, NJ - As is always the case when Nick Mangold can't play the Jets struggled as the Raiders whooped them up and down the field on both sides of the ball. The Raiders took it to the Jets defense early so you can't pin the loss on Mangold's absence but it certainly didn't help matters. Fortunately for the Jets they should have their All-Pro center back for this week's matchup against the Jaguars.
Mangold was a limited participant in practice today and Todd Bowles said it was "encouraging" to see Mangold back on the field but he still wants to see more before declaring that he will play. However, Mangold, who never speaks in absolutes, was a bit more optimistic.
When asked if he expects to play on Sunday Mangold said, "I sure plan on it." Mangold said he was "pretty close" to playing last week but the under the team doctor's advice they decided not to test it. There were reports that Mangold wanted to play but the doctors wouldn't clear him, Mangold said he was disappointed he didn't get to play and help his teammates but he wouldn't go as far as saying he wasn't "cleared."
"I don't know (about) clearance and all that but it was determined that it (playing) probably wouldn't be the best choice," Mangold said. As for being cleared for this week Mangold said he's not sure about that but he's not waiting for clearance to start preparing to play, "I don't know. I don't ask those questions on Thursday. I plan on it, I'm preparing for it, studying and getting ready, and hopefully everything works out."
With the injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick's thumb and the offense's struggling to get the run game going in these last two losses the Jets have been focused on getting back to running the ball well and in order to do that they will need Mangold and they will need him to be healthy enough. Maybe not quite 100 percent but, considering it's a neck injury, you'd figure they'll need him to be at least around the 85 percent range.
So, you might be wondering, how does he feel right now? Mangold said, "As good as I can feel today."
Full Jets Thursday injury report:
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/Scout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (email@example.com).