FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Nick Mangold practiced on a limited basis Thursday for the first time since injuring his neck against the Patriots on Oct. 25.
It's an encouraging sign for the Jets center, who was inactive Sunday against the Raiders. Asked if he expects to play this week against Jacksonville, Mangold said, "I sure plan on it." But the 10-year veteran said similar things in the lead-up to the Oakland game.
He did say he came "pretty close" to starting against the Raiders, but team doctors decided against it.
"It was disappointing," he said.
Despite Mangold's optimism about facing the Jaguars, coach Todd Bowles isn't 100 percent sold. Though it was "encouraging" to see the center on the field, Bowles said, "He still has to do a little more."
Backup lineman Wesley Johnson made his first NFL start in Mangold's absence.
So how did he do?
"Not bad," offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. "I thought he handled everything fairly well. He had some rookie breaking-into-the-position minor issues, nothing major. There were no major gaffes in the ballgame, so to me, that was encouraging that he could go out there and play and get us through a game. He's not Nick Mangold, but there's very few of those out there."