FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Nick Mangold, one of the most accomplished centers in the NFL, was placed on injured reserve Thursday by the New York Jets -- a move that could signal the end of his time with the team.
It came as no surprise, as Mangold has battled a severe ankle injury for almost two months. He returned to the lineup Monday night after missing four games, but he aggravated the injury late in the 41-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
On Thursday, Mangold flew to North Carolina to visit with specialist Dr. Robert Anderson for a second opinion. A short time later, the Jets made the decision that had been building for weeks.
Surgery is a possibility, but the team will take a conservative approach at first, a source said.
Mangold, who turns 33 next month, has one year remaining on his contract. His cap charge in 2017 balloons to $9.1 million, raising questions about his future.
The Jets (3-9) likely will try to get younger in the offseason, meaning they could move on from Mangold, a stalwart for more than a decade.
Mangold also could opt to retire. His close friend, former left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, retired last spring at the age of 31. They were drafted the same year.
Mangold, a first-round pick in 2006, has played in seven Pro Bowls. Twice he was named to the All-Pro team. Prior to this season, he was one of the most durable players in the league, having missed only four games in his first 10 seasons.
"It's been frustrating and disappointing, not being out there and not contributing," Mangold said recently.
Wesley Johnson will return to the starting role, replacing Mangold. To fill his roster spot, they signed rookie safety Doug Middleton from the practice squad.