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Nick Mangold doesn't make Oakland trip

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- All-Pro center Nick Mangold will not make the trip to Oakland with the Jets Friday afternoon, getting another week to heal a high sprain in his right ankle.

"He's just not ready," Jets coach Rex Ryan said.

Mangold expressed disappointment that his 82-game consecutive start streak will end. Mangold had lobbied for the Jets to hold off on making the final call to see if his ankle improved.

It did, but not enough for him to play, and Mangold conceded that it was the right call to hold him out against the Raiders.

"Probably the smart thing," Mangold said. "Not the fun thing, but probably the smart thing."

Rookie Colin Baxter replaced Mangold in Sunday's win against the Jaguars and is expected to get the start against Oakland.

Both Mangold and Ryan expressed optimism that Mangold would be able to play when the Jets go to Baltimore for Week 4.

His teammates know how hard it will be for Mangold to watch this game on a two-dimensional screen rather than in the insane atmosphere of the Coliseum.

"We all know that Nick is a tough person, a tough competitor," said Darrelle Revis, "and if he could play, trust me, if you talk to him he probably would say he would play if they would let him."

Mangold, who is tasked with recognizing defenses and communicating that with the rest of the offensive line, was on the sideline in the rain Friday to offer what he could to Baxter.

"I'm sure I've got at least one smart thing to say out of the 30 things I probably said," Mangold said. "It was to try to help out best I could, make sure everything went smoothly for a Friday."

Baxter said the help from Mangold has been crucial.

"It means a lot," Baxter said. "He's helped a lot, just with technique and everything really. He's really been able to kind of touch on some of the finer points that maybe Coach doesn't have time to in the meeting with all of us, or stuff that he might see because he does it every day, that might get overlooked at times."

In meetings each day this week, Baxter has been wedged between Mangold and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan. One of his linemates said he is amazed at how well the rookie is doing, considering he was calling plays for the Arizona Wildcats this time last year.

"Because of the week we've had, I feel comfortable with Baxter," right tackle Wayne Hunter said.

Baxter still will be making some of the calls at center, along with left guard Matt Slauson and Hunter. It is a lot of faith to place in a rookie: starting at center, making the calls and doing it all in a heavy-metal nightmare called the Black Hole.

"We saw almost like a Rob Turner-type mentality," Ryan said. "He's just a tough guy, competes."

Ryan said Baxter has learned the terminology. The Jets will have to change up some of the protections to compensate for a rookie targeted by the Raiders' front four, including Richard Seymour.

"He's a young man, but he was ready, and that's why when he was thrown in there for three quarters, he was able to hold up and do a decent job," Ryan said. "This one is going to be a huge challenge for him, but I think he is going to be up to it."

The Jets did not go out and sign another guard, partially because Mangold will not be out for much longer. Ryan said he likes backup Matt Kroul, but turning him into a starting center after he was a defensive tackle when training camp started is an even bigger job. But the Jets also see something in Baxter.

"They obviously brought me here because they saw that I did some good things in the preseason and I was able to handle it," Baxter said. "I got thrown in there last week against Jacksonville and I think I played pretty well. They obviously had other options. They could have brought in other guys. But it's nice that they feel confident in me. I feel confident in myself and I want to go prove them right."

Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.