Nick Mangold is ready to get back into the trenches with his fellow linemates.
"I'm getting better," the Pro Bowl center said following the Jets' morning walkthrough. "I got in a lot of good work in over the weekend. It was no fun being home for the game, but I did get some good work in. I hope to do some good things today."
Mangold has been nursing a stinger suffered in last Thursday's pratice, when he was injured in goal line drills. He didn't travel with the team for Monday's 20-16 preseason-opening loss to the Texans in Houston Monday night, but said he believes he will practice this afternoon and is preparing to play against the Bengals come Sunday at New Meadowlands Stadium.
"That would be the plan, I would assume," Mangold said.
Mangold's absence Monday elevated key reserve Rob Turner to starting center status versus the Texans, and he wound up breaking his right leg. Rex Ryan said the Jets won't know the exact timetable for Turner's return until he has surgery later this week, allowing the doctors to get a better look at just how bad the break is.
Mangold watched the game on television, and had a sick feeling once he saw Turner go down.
"It was disappointing," Mangold said. "I was really hoping that it was just a sprain. I couldn't tell exactly and then when I found out he had broken it, it was just real disappointing. It's tough to see anybody get hurt, but a close linemate, it's difficult."
Turner's injury leaves the Jets extremely thin in the backup offensive lineman department, but Ryan isn't ready to panic just yet.
"Again, I think we'll see how this thing goes," he said, "the surgery goes with Rob, and let's see what we have."
That's when Ryan said recently-converted Matt Kroul, a defensive lineman who hadn't played on the offensive side of the ball since high school, could be a strong candidate to help out in the depth department. Kroul has been working with the offensive line since last week, and Ryan revealed they're going to try to have him play center now with the loss of Turner.
"We'll see," Ryan said of the depth. "We've got Robby Felix here. We'll see what we have, give these guys an opportunity. And again, we'll follow what happens to Rob closely."
RG Brandon Moore (hip surgery) is progressing, but he's out against the Bengals.
RB Joe McKnight has a concussion and the Jets will be cautious as they continue to re-evaluate him.
QB Mark Brunell (discloated pinky) hasn't been ruled out for Sunday, but the Jets are going to play it smart with the lefty-handed veteran since the injury is on his throwing hand.
LB Bart Scott (lower leg) isn't going to practice this afternoon and the team will monitor his progress throughout the week. Rex said when he reviewed the game film, Scott's injury -- he got his left leg rolled up on during the game's first play -- could've been a lot worse and the Jets are lucky.