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After going down with injury, Nick Mangold has ‘utmost respect’ for Vince Wilfork

12.22.14 at 6:30 am ET
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A number of players from both teams sent their well wishes to Jets center Nick Mangold before he was carted off with a lower left leg injury. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

A number of players from both teams sent their well wishes to Jets center Nick Mangold before he was carted off with a lower left leg injury. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — It was an unfortunate day for Jets center Nick Mangold.

After walking onto MetLife Stadium field wearing an NYPD hat to honor the two fallen officers from Saturday’s horrible event, he left the field on a cart with what looked like a serious lower leg injury.

Early in the second quarter, the 2006 first-rounder got his leg rolled up on and he went down in serious pain before having to be being carted off the field. Before the cart took off, virtually the entire Jets sideline and a good number of Patriots players went over to the cart to give Mangold their best wishes. He had X-rays and said more tests will be needed to be done Monday, but he was moving around the locker room afterwards on crutches.

The player closest to the cart may have been a member of the Patriots, Vince Wilfork, as the two have been battling against one another for close to a decade going back to college when Wilfork was at the University of Miami and Mangold at Ohio State. It has only continued as the two have been division rivals since entering the league with there always being a good battle in the trenches when the two teams meet with Mangold at center at Wilfork at defensive tackle.

“Vince and I, we’ve been playing against each other for, shoot, it goes back to college,” Mangold recalled. “We played against each other. We’ve had some great battles and I have the utmost respect for that guy. … Very appreciated.”

“That was greatly appreciated,” Mangold added of the support. “Even though I wasn’t in the best of moods at the time as a player your team behind you and even the other team, that leaves you with a deep appreciation.”

As for wearing the NYPD hat prior to the game, Mangold was doing anything he could to show his support, saying he decided on the gesture Saturday night.

“Those two officers, it’s a shame. That’s tough,” Mangold said. “Those guys, they do a great job. I’ve been here nine years. Every one of those guys that’s out there, that risks their lives every day, to go out there and keep the community safe, protect the community — for that to happen, for those two guys, for their families, that’s a raw deal.

“If wearing that hat gives a little bit of comfort or shows support for those folks, I’m happy to do it.”

Read More: Nick Mangold, Vince Wilfork,
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