Jets’ Pro Bowl Center Mangold Won’t Play This Weekend With Sprained Ankle

Nick Mangold of the New York Jets won’t play against the Oakland Raiders this weekend because of a high ankle sprain, leaving the team without the “best center in the league,” coach Rex Ryan said today.

Mangold, 27, was injured in the first quarter of the National Football League team’s 32-3 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 18. He had an MRI the following day that revealed the sprain in his right leg and was unable to practice leading up to the game in Oakland on Sept. 25.

“He’s just not ready, it’s as simple as that,” Ryan said at a news conference. “He’s doing really well, but a high ankle sprain, traveling across country, it’s not in his best interest.”

Rookie Colin Baxter, who filled in after the injury, will start. The team is pleased with how Baxter has worked this week, Ryan said.

“He’s picked up everything mentally, and I think physically it’s going to be a big challenge for him,” he said.

Baxter, 24, said this week that he was working extra with coaches after practice and would spend a lot of time with Mangold as he prepared for the Raiders.

“I’m definitely going to be in his ear this week, asking him questions about techniques and plays and assignments,” Baxter told reporters on Sept. 19.

Mangold has been a Pro Bowl selection the past three seasons. He has started 82 games in his six-year career, spent entirely with the Jets.

Rookie defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson is questionable with a shoulder injury, Ryan said. The players listed on the team’s injury report as probable -- including quarterback Mark Sanchez, receivers Derrick Mason and Santonio Holmes, and safeties Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith -- all practiced in some capacity today and will play this weekend.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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