Jets' Nick Mangold returns to practice

Updated: September 25, 2010, 12:52 PM ET
By Matt Ehalt | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK. N.J. -- Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold returned to practice Friday after missing the previous two days with a right shoulder injury and is expected to play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said.

Mangold was limited during practice and is listed as questionable for Sunday's contest.

"I gotta be pretty much dead to not be playing," Mangold said. "So I assumed unless they were going to cut [the arm] off that I'd be back out there."

Mangold is dealing with an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder that he suffered during the Jets' 28-14 victory over the New England Patriots. He missed one series during the game, being replaced by Rob Turner.

Mangold said he is doing fine and spent the last few days getting treatment and rehab to try and be as healthy as possible for Sunday's game. During the media portion of Friday's practice, Mangold worked with Mark Sanchez on the side, hiking the ball to the Jets quarterback. Mangold also worked during an offense vs. defense drill, snapping the ball several times.

"I needed to be out there to get the feel of what is going on," Mangold said. "We'll have the walkthrough tomorrow. You can only do so much mentally. You got to be out there and feel it."

Linebacker Jason Taylor was also limited in practice while recovering from an injured left elbow. Sunday's game will mark the first for Taylor against his former team.

Backup offensive lineman Wayne Hunter (bruised right shin) is out. All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis (strained left hamstring) and linebacker Calvin Pace (broken right foot) were already ruled out.

Ryan said Mangold is the type of player who can miss a few days of practice and be ready to play come game time. Ryan said he hopes Mangold -- who signed a seven-year, $55 million extension in August -- can play the entire game, but realizes that Mangold's injury could flare up. In that case, just like last Sunday, Ryan would replace Mangold with Turner.

"We all feel better because he's out there, throwing the shotgun snaps and all that kind of stuff," Ryan said of Mangold. "He looked good. Nick's a smart guy. He's on top of the game plan. I expected him to go unless something odd happens."

Offensive tackle Damien Woody said it's important to have continuity on the line and Mangold playing Sunday night will be huge for the Jets. He thought Mangold was being smart the past few days by getting treatment to make sure he's healthy.

"That's one guy I don't worry about one bit," Woody said. "He knows our scheme, he knows the system inside and out. He's been here throughout his whole career in the same system, so he doesn't need much practice time on anything like that for him to go out there and execute. He's on top of the game plan and I know by the time game time comes around he'll be ready to go."

Provided nothing odd happens, Mangold's play on the offensive line will be a critical part in deciding whether the Jets leave Florida as the first-place team in the AFC East following Sunday's game. With such high stakes, Mangold is excited to battle the Dolphins.

"It's a big game early in the season. It's a game you want to play in, you want to be a part of, especially when you look at the Miami-New York rivalry, you couldn't ask for a better situation to go into," Mangold said. "I know their fans are going to be hoping down there and it's going to be a fun game."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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