Florham Park, N.J.– According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News Jets All-Pro center Nick Mangold is, “likely out minimum of two-three weeks.” But according to Rex Ryan, Mangold says he thinks he can go. The training staff on the other hand, will likely disagree and Ryan says the decision will ultimately be the trainers to make.

“Nick did have his MRI and it showed a high-ankle sprain. So I would say his status for the game would be, I would assume, very iffy. I don’t think it looks very good as far as playing this week.” Ryan said, “But with that being said he thinks he can go. He’s started 80-something games in a row, we’ll see how he progresses. I wouldn’t count him out, he’s a tough guy, but you know the trainers will always do what’s in the best interest of the player and we’ll never put a guy out there that shouldn’t be out there.”

Nick Mangold says he thinks he can play, but the trainers are thinking he is likely to miss 2-3 weeks. Colin Baxter will now be asked to step up and fill the shoes of the best center in football. (Jetsinsider.com Photo)

This will be the first time in Ryan’s head coaching career he goes into a game without Mangold as his center, but as much as it hurts to lose the best center in game for a couple of weeks (especially for the toughest three game stretch on their schedule), Ryan liked what he saw from backup Colin Baxter and is sticking by his ‘no excuses’ mantra.

“Well I think Baxter did a great job in that game considering he was thrown in there.” Ryan said, “(I’m) Sure he was a little nervous, he kind of got thrown to the wolves there. But he played three quarters of the game, you know, had a couple of mental mistakes. Snapped the ball early that one time, but I was proud of the way he jumped in there. And we’ll always say whether it’s Nick (Mangold) or Baxter, or whoever, we go on. There’s no excuses.”

In fact Ryan pointed out that this team had to play through a similar problem at beginning of last season, where they also lost a player for a few games, who just happens to be the best at his position in the sport.

“If he can’t go, remember last year. It’s almost a similar thing that happened when we lost Darrelle Revis. In the second game of the season when he pulled the hamstring and now you got to replace Darrelle going forward and we were able to do that.” Ryan said, “Same thing with Nick you probably got, well no probably about it, the way Darrelle Revis is the best cornerback in football and it’s undisputable, that’s the same thing you can say about Nick Mangold as the center. But we’ll find ways to get it done. That’s just what we do, that’s the New York Jets. So when you got that decal on your helmet you got to step in and do the job.”

Ryan said Caleb Schlauderaff or Matt Slauson will be the backup to Baxter until Mangold comes back, saying “We worked him (Slauson) as a center before and Schlauderaff could maybe play guard. So we feel okay there.”

As for whether or not the Jets would look to bring someone from outside the team in, Ryan said, “No I’m comfortable with the guys we have.”

“He’s got a good grasp of our system anyway. The fact that the terminology is similar to that of where he came from, San Diego, I think he’s already got a decent grasp of it.” Ryan said of Baxter, “But the thing about that young man is you can tell he doesn’t want to make the mistakes and two mental mistakes or whatever he made was too much for him. So you love that mentality that he has, he certainly understands that he doesn’t want to be the weak link, he wants to go in there and compete.”

Today Baxter was asked how he thought he played after watching the game tape and said, “Pretty much what I thought yesterday. There were some good things, there were some bad things. (There was) a couple of mental errors that I can’t have, that I’ll get cleaned up. A few technical things that I can get cleaned up, as well.

“I’ve got to do a lot this week. I’ve been doing a lot out there with coach (Bill Callahan) after practice, working on sets and technique. I’m in there with Rob (Turner) after meetings, going over books and going over it at home, here, the hotel.”

Santonio Holmes wasn’t shy in admitting the Jets have a challenge on their hands in trying to replace Mangold, but he also wasn’t shy about how he expects the Jets to overcome this hurdle, saying, “Guys have to step up. We’re losing a valuable part of our offensive line, a guy that knows pretty much everything, makes all the calls, makes things a lot easier for Mark (Sanchez) and the rest of the guys up front. And we definitely have to be on our P’s and Q’s now, we have to make sure we get our young guy in the lab and get him everything he needs to know.”

And while Mangold is obviously frustrated that he won’t be able to contribute on the field these next few weeks, he will certainly have plenty of work to do in helping Baxter get up to speed and Baxter plans on extracting every last morsel of information that Mangold has to offer.

“I’m definitely going to be in his ear this week.” Baxter said, “Asking him questions about techniques and plays and assignments, just making sure I’ve got everything straight, seeing how he would do it.”

If Baxter can somehow convert seeing how Mangold does it, into playing even half as good as Mangold does the Jets should count their blessings. And if he can’t, well the Jets should count their blessings that Mangold is only expected to miss two-three weeks at this point, because at first glance that injury looked a lot worse than a two-three week injury.

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