As was rumored, center Nick Mangold's injury from the Jaguars game yesterday has been confirmed as being a high ankle sprain, per Jenny Vrentas via Twitter. See story here.There is no other structural damage, which is fantastic news for those of us concerned of something worse, or perhaps even knee damage. There is also no timetable as of now for his return, but the team will monitor the injury and see how he progresses. Expect backup center Colin Baxter, a waiver-wire pickup from the Chargers, to start in place of Mangold. More on Baxter below the jump.
Baxter, who was undrafted this year, went to college at the University of Arizona. He has experience at both the guard and center positions. In 2010 he was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, given to the best center in college football. For two years in a row, he was an All-Pac-10 Second Team selection. Coming out of college he was ranked the 14th best center out of a class of 49.
Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson have said that they expect to work heavily with Baxter in the film room and on the practice field so that he's ready for next week. Baxter had a bit of a rough start this past week, messing up a few snaps and appearing unsure as to who he should block. This obviously does not bode well for our struggling offensive line, as Baxter is clearly a step, or full staircase, down from Mangold. With Wayne Hunter appearing extremely weak in pass protection, is now the time to sound the alarms? Do you think the Jets should start grabbing veteran OL, and if so, who? Or would it be better to wait until we know more about how long Mangold will be out?