Mangini expects Favre to start Sunday despite ailing ankle
NEW YORK -- Don't fret, Jets fans. Brett Favre's playing streak appears safe.
A source close to Favre told ESPN's Ed Werder the New York Jets quarterback's sprained left ankle was "very sore" early Tuesday evening, but Favre told his coaches and teammates to assume that he will extend his NFL record of consecutive starts to 257 games Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals despite confronting a short week of preparation and recovery.
Favre rolled his ankle during the third quarter of the Jets' 48-29 loss at San Diego on Monday night, but he remained in the game until Kellen Clemens replaced him with two minutes left in a 48-29 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
Coach Eric Mangini wasn't overly concerned about the injury.
"Brett usually plays," Mangini said Tuesday, "and I would anticipate the same."
Favre was limping noticeably after the injury and in the locker room after the game.
"It's just understanding him and I think we have a good plan in place whenever guys get injured, so I feel pretty comfortable with the process," Mangini said. "And I know that if there's any way that he can play, he'll definitely play."
While Favre has no doubt played with worse injuries during his streak, it has seldom, if ever, been so imperative that he be able to participate in a full week of practice since he continues to try to become comfortable with new teammates in a system totally foreign to him. So, unlike if he were still with the Packers, he might be required to do more than simply be healthy enough to play Sunday.
Mangini said Favre received some treatment on the ankle when the team arrived home early Tuesday morning, and the quarterback was scheduled for more later in the evening.
Favre said after the game that X-rays came out OK -- meaning there was no break. The players had the day off from speaking with the media, and Favre is scheduled for his weekly news conference Wednesday morning.
Favre was lifted for Clemens before the Jets' final offensive possession, but it was more because the game was out of hand at that point.
Favre was inconsistent against the Chargers, going 30-of-42 for 271 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions, including one returned 52 yards for a score by defensive back Antonio Cromartie. He and some of his receivers appeared out of sync at times, something Favre has warned would take some time to perfect after playing in Green Bay's offensive system for the past 16 seasons.
"I think there's been progress each week," Mangini said. "We threw the ball quite a bit [Monday] night and there's going to be some times where when you put the ball up in volume, you're going to have turnovers. Brett's made a lot of great plays, sort of ad-lib type plays and the receivers are getting more and more used to that and I think he's getting more and more used to the receivers. As you go along and get the additional reps, that tends to naturally improve."
Mangini bemoaned a few other turnovers, including a fumble by running back Thomas Jones, that turned the momentum in the Chargers' favor.
"I thought we were moving the ball pretty effectively throughout the first half, and then we had the turnover for a touchdown," Mangini said. "That was the case in the first half, some positive drives punctuated by the turnovers. Whenever you have that happen, it's not going to have a good result."
After New York cut the deficit to 17-14 on Laveranues Coles' 3-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter, the Jets tried to catch the Chargers off guard by trying an onside kick. After a perfectly placed bounce by kicker Jay Feely, special-teams standout Wallace Wright got his hands on the ball but lost it and San Diego recovered. Five plays later, the Chargers made it a 10-point game and Mangini was roundly criticized for the call after the game.
"In that situation, I would definitely do it again if it was the same situation," Mangini said. "We didn't execute as well as we should've."
The Jets also clearly missed the presence of run-stopping nose tackle Kris Jenkins, who left in the first quarter with a back injury. San Diego finished with 107 yards on the ground and was able to convert on third down numerous times late in the game.
"There were times [Monday] night where we thought Kris could come back in," Mangini said. "It just didn't get to the point where we were ready to do that. He was close, definitely, throughout the course of the game, so I'm hoping with time and treatment, that'll move along pretty well."
Mangini said punter Ben Graham, re-signed less than a week after he was released, was in San Diego working out with former NFL punter and fellow Aussie Darren Bennett when he called him late last week. "He didn't even have to get on a flight," Mangini said. "He was already there, and I thought he did a good job." Graham dropped both of his punts inside the Chargers' 20 for no returns while replacing the injured Reggie Hodges. Mangini said the Jets will carry both Graham and Hodges on the roster "for the short term and see where we are."
Information from ESPN's Ed Werder and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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