Nick Mangold Injury: Updates on Jets Star's Arm, Likely Return Date

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 8, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 18:  Nick Mangold #74 of the New York Jets looks on from the sidelines during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles  at Lincoln Financial Field on December 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

New York Jets center Nick Mangold was sent to the locker room during the second half of Sunday's Week 1 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after suffering an "apparent right elbow injury," according to The New York Daily News' Manish Mehta via Twitter:

Nick Mangold went into the locker room after an apparent right elbow injury. #nyj

— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) September 8, 2013

He would return to the sideline shortly after, per Mehta:

Mangold is back on the Jets sideline. #nyj

— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) September 8, 2013

Mangold later returned to the game as the Jets completed a late comeback to knock off the Buccaneers, per Mehta.

Nick Mangold is back in the game after that right elbow scare. #nyj

— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) September 8, 2013

A four-time Pro Bowler, losing Mangold for any length of time would have a huge impact on the Jets' offense, which can ill afford a setback after ranking 30th in total yards and 28th in points scored a season ago.

It remains to be seen how serious Mangold's arm injury actually is and if it will force him to miss any time.

The 29-year-old has certainly proven durable over the years. He's in his eighth season with the Jets and has started all but two regular-season games for the team dating back to his rookie year in 2006.  

Mangold missed two games with a high-ankle sprain early in the 2011 season but returned to play the final 12 regular-season games. His streak of 82 consecutive starts (five full seasons and two games) at center was snapped in Week 3 of 2011 but his new streak is up to 29 games following Sunday's season-opening start against the Buccaneers.

A former first-round pick out of Ohio State, Mangold is widely regarded as one of the top centers in the NFL. In 2010, he was rewarded for his dominant play when he signed a seven-year, $55 million deal with the Jets that keeps on the books through the 2017 season.

The 2012 season marked the first time since 2007 that Mangold failed to earn Pro Bowl honors.