A day after their 30-23 loss to the Patriots, the Jets insisted they were ready to turn the page. And they received good news to start the week as All-Pro C Nick Mangold, who suffered a neck injury late in the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium, received favorable results following a battery of tests.
"Nick Mangold has a sore neck," said head coach Todd Bowles on a conference call today. "His X-rays were negative. I don't know the timetable on him getting better. I just know it's not as bad as we thought it was. He's sore. He has to get treatment and everything else and see if it loosens up."
The relationship between center and quarterback is invaluable and to know that Mangold's injury could have been worse is something that Ryan Fitzpatrick and the members of the offense are not taking for granted.
"He means a lot to our team," said Fitzpatrick. "He means a lot to the guys up front in terms of the communication aspect. It was tough seeing him go down yesterday, but good to see him walking around the building today."
"Nick is obviously our field general just as much as Fitz is," added G Willie Colon. "His ability to put the line in a place where we can be effective, make the right calls, he's everything for us. He's pretty much a coach on the field. His value is huge. I don't think anybody can replace him."
While Sunday was disappointing, there is no time to look back. The Jets are already on to the next opponent after an intense Monday film session.
"We have to learn from our mistakes and clean up the little things," said Bowles. "But if we linger on this game, then we're going to get beat next week. Oakland played a heck of a ballgame yesterday [a 37-29 win at San Diego]. We know we have to move on. We know what kind of fight we have. We just have to make sure we take care of the little things and take it one game at a time."
Even while fielding questions from the media this afternoon, Fitzpatrick jokingly said, "I'm multitasking right now — paying attention to your questions but also watching Raiders film. So we're on to the next game here and trying to figure out the best way to attack Oakland."
It's extremely important that the Jets don't get too high with a win or too low with a loss. This is a lesson that Coach Bowles has preached from day one and it's registered with the players.
"We still control our season," said Colon. "We still control our fate. The one thing we can't do is let this resonate. We have to be able to drop it because Oakland's a good team. If we don't and we go into Oakland with this still on our mind and we play and we're not physical like we need to be, Oakland will beat us. We can't have that."