By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV SportsBy Levan Reid

FOXBORO (CBS) – New England Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork has an inkling he will have to go against Jets All-Pro offensive lineman Nick Mangold on Sunday.

After Mangold missed the last two weeks with a high ankle sprain, there was some hope on Wilfork’s part he would miss a third straight game.

When asked about if he wanted to play Mangold or not, Vince was very certain in his answer.

“No, I don’t,” said Wilfork, offering about as high a compliment as an opponent can with that statement. “He’s probably one of the best offensive linemen in the game. He’s definitely a leader on that team for them. I’m pretty sure that they would love for him to play because I think he gives them a spark.”

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

“It’s absolutely a difference when he’s in and when he’s not in,” said Wilfork. “I think they need that leadership and everything around that. I expect for him to be in there to get things going and everything and get his team off to a good start.”

Another point of conversation was injured Patriot Jerod Mayo. The all-world linebacker will be out this week and that means there will be a premium put on defensive communication.

Vince says everyone on the Pats D has to get together and get on the same page.

“I think when someone goes down, everybody else has to step up and play their role,” said Wilfork. “I think this is going to be a prime example for us. Whatever happens, whoever we have on Sunday out there playing, they have to be able to come in and step up because we’re all depending on them.”

Pats-Jets Notes: Throwback Weekend

“I don’t think Bill [Belichick] would put anyone out on this field that he doesn’t have confidence in,” said Wilfork. “We feel the same way. We have each other’s back. We know exactly what we have in this locker room and on this field. It’s a good thing when you can sit back and say, ‘We have more that we can give.’ That’s the situation that we have.”

Tune in to the Patriots-Jets game Sunday at 4:15 pm on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV. Tune in to Patriots Gameday at 11:30am on WBZ-TV and The Sports Hub’s pregame coverage, beginning at 1:00 pm. After the game tune in to the Postgame show on 98.5, and to Patriots Fifth Quarter on MY TV38.


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