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Cromartie back at Jets practice following lung, rib injuries

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Antonio Cromartie returned to the practice field Thursday and was a full participant, just four days after suffering a bruised lung and ribs in the team's loss at Oakland.

"I feel good now, but after the game, I felt like a fish out of water," Cromartie said. "I mean, I really couldn't breathe. Right now, I'm feeling good. I feel 100 percent. I've got a little soreness here and there, but that's about it.

Center Nick Mangold was also in full uniform for the first time since suffering a high right ankle sprain against Jacksonville two weeks ago, but didn't participate in team drills. He missed last Sunday's game -- the first of his NFL career -- because of the injury and could be a game-time decision Sunday in Baltimore.

"I'm encouraged that he's getting better," said Jets coach Rex Ryan, who added that Mangold doesn't need to practice in order to play.

According to the New York Post, Cromartie said he injured his ribs because he was afraid of being fined while tackling Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.

"I tried to change the way I hit him because I didn't want to get a fine," he said. "At the last second, I put my shoulder in too much and went from there."

Cromartie was dismissive when asked about Baltimore's rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith, who had a breakout game last week with 152 yards and three touchdowns against the Rams.

"He had one big game," Cromartie said. "That's it. He has five catches for his whole career."

Ryan wasn't too impressed with Smith either when asked about him on Wednesday.

"He's a fast guy, and all that kind of stuff, but I don't think he'll have equal success this week," Ryan said. "If he does, then I'm just going to stay in Baltimore."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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