Florham Park, NJ – New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is hopeful Nick Mangold will be able to play Sunday against the New England Patriots.
Ryan said Wednesday he'd like to have the star center back on the field for a road game against their AFC East rivals.
"I think that would be a big help for us. I'm definitely hopeful that Nick will play," Ryan said.
Mangold has been sidelined since suffering a high ankle sprain during the first quarter of a Week 2 win over Jacksonville.
Prior to the injury, Mangold had started all 82 games since the Jets picked him 29th overall in the 2006 draft. Rookie center Colin Baxter has started the last two games for 2-2 New York.
Mangold was a limited participant in practice again on Wednesday.
"No offense to Colin Baxter, but there's only one Nick Mangold in this league, and when he went out, that was really a big loss to us," Ryan said. "Hopefully he'll be back and ready to play this week."
Wide receiver Plaxico Burress missed practice Wednesday because of an elbow injury, but Ryan said he would be OK.
"He woke up this morning and his elbow was huge, so he never practiced," Ryan said. "He looks good. They fixed it or something and he looks good."
Ryan said the Jets haven't decided what to do with the roster spot vacated by linebacker Bryan Thomas, who will miss the rest of the season with an Achilles tendon injury.