FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Since the last time the Jets played the Dolphins the Jets running game has struggled to find much success. There are multiple reasons for this, defenses are stacking the box to take away the run and daring Ryan Fitzpatrick to beat them is one obvious reason but the absence of center Nick Mangold is the most obvious reason.
Mangold hurt his neck at the tail end of the Patriots game, so for that game you can blame the running struggles on Chris Ivory's injury and the Patriots defense's dedication to taking away what the Jets do best, and missed the Raiders game where his absence was clearly problematic. He returned the next week only to leave the game after reaggrevating his neck early but the Jets were able to overcome the injury that week to beat the Jaguars. Mangold made it through the Bills game and the Jets were finally able to establish a bit of a groove in their running game by the end of that loss but then he hurt his hand and had to come out of the Texans game which certainly contributed to the offensive line problems in that game.
The Dolphins are susceptible against the run but so were the Texans and if Mangold can't play this week it's not hard to imagine the Jets struggling to lean on their running game again on Sunday. Todd Bowles said Wesley Johnson has done a good job filling in for Mangold but even if Johnson is playing great he isn't Nick Mangold and even if he was as talented there are so many things the offense depends and relies on Mangold for that the offensive line as a unit will always miss Mangold calling the shots.
Mangold said he's still not sure how his hand got hurt, but it needed seven stitches and is still swollen, "I couldn't see it from our copy (of the game film), I don't think it's on the TV copy either, so I don't know. I have no idea. You tell me."
Mangold didn't practice at all today and Bowles said he will need to see him take some snaps before clearing him to play. Mangold said he feels good and he hopes to be able to play because he really hates not being able to be out there and help his teammates.
"Yeah, it's a pain in the butt. It's disappointing especially (because) the neck feels great, I haven't had any issues with that. I thought we were going to get rolling and then to have some type of fluke incident where, it can be frustrating at times because there was nothing that I could've done to prevent," Mangold said. "It was a classic 'one in a million Doc (Seinfeld reference).' It's just disappointing, you want to be out there with the guys, the guys are fighting, you watch the way Willie (Colon) kept fighting through his knee, unfortunately he wasn't able to make it through but you see a guy fighting like that to be out there with the guys and I think you get a sense of what it means to be out there. So, not being able to be out there is difficult."
OTHER INJURY NEWS AND UPDATES:
Mangold wasn't the only player who didn't practice today, Dion Bailey missed practice again with his high ankle sprain, Kellen Davis missed practice for personal reasons and the other big one was Darrelle Revis. Revis was sent hom by the team doctors as he is still recovering from the concussion he suffered against the Texans. He hasn't even been cleared to sit in meetings, so it would seem he is a long shot to play on Sunday.
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)