FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — In a perfect world, the Jets’ bye week would have given Nick Mangold’s sprained right ankle a chance to heal and get him back on the field.

Instead, Mangold watched practice out of uniform on Wednesday and coach Todd Bowles admitted that the Jets might have to consider the injured reserve some time in the future. They have not discussed surgery, Bowles said.

The center, who was injured in Week 7 and missed three games, will not play on Sunday against the Patriots and is no closer to returning, Bowles said.

“Not yet but we’re going to have to talk about it,” Bowles said when asked if they’re discussing the IR. “For me, if you’re not practicing, you’re not improving . . . He’s not improving.”

Bowles said there has been no further deterioration but could not elaborate on the nature of the sprain, or what has made it so serious.

Ross to special teams

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Bowles said Wednesday that they hope to use Jeremy Ross on punt returns and some kick returns. The Jets signed Ross Tuesday for his third stint with the team; he was last released on Oct. 11.

The hope, Bowles said, was to have rookie Jalin Marshall concentrate primarily on his receiving role, since Marshall has “struggled a little bit catching the ball” on the punt return. “We’re trying to take something off his plate.”

Injury report

In addition to Mangold, DBs Nick Marshall (ankle) and Marcus Williams (ankle) didn’t practice. DL Steve McLendon (hamstring) also didn’t practice. WR Quincy Enunwa (neck) and LBs Bruce Carter (quad) and Josh Martin (concussion) were limited.