The grains in the hourglass are slowly but surely running out on the 2021 season for the New York Jets.
That means the window for a potential return for former first-round pick Mekhi Becton is dwindling by the day. He was originally injured in Week 1 versus the Carolina Panthers.
Becton dislocated his kneecap and the initial prognosis had him missing between four and six weeks. He is currently a month past those projections and head coach Robert Saleh has had to answer questions weekly on his status.
On Sunday an insider called out Becton and seriously questioned some eyebrow-raising topics.
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Conditioning Continues to Come Into Question
Since Becton was drafted No. 11 overall out of Louisville his size and weight have been questioned. We haven’t often seen a man of this size and caliber be able to hold up at the professional level.
Unfortunately, those questions gained more and more steam with every passing game that Becton has missed.
Out of 29 possible games played over the last two years, Becton just missed his 14th on Sunday. Rich Cimini of ESPN also added that the big man missed portions of four other contests as well in 2020.
Becton has kept his current weight and the Jets’ expectations of him private, but Cimini noted that he projects him at 370 pounds.
“The big man still isn’t practicing, so you’re talking about — what? — a two-game cameo for a 370-pound lineman on a surgically repaired knee? That’s if he returns this week and can get into game shape in two weeks, which might be stretching it.”
Despite anything that Saleh has said, Cimini suggests that “there’s no doubt conditioning is a factor” with Becton and his potential return.
The Most Damning Insult Ever
If you want to poke fun at someone’s weight and/or conditioning, that has happened throughout Becton’s career. Although something else in Cimini’s report on Sunday certainly raised a few eyebrows and is the most damning thing you can accuse an athlete of.
Cimini questioned Becton’s “motivation” to return to the football field this season. He added that the Jets are “dangling the carrot of a potential return” to keep him focused.
With only four games remaining on the docket the team is hopeful that Becton will return this season.
“Whether it’s one game, two games, I don’t think it really matters to him,” Saleh said. “He just wants to get back on the field.”
Becton is a former first-round pick and a player that possesses what some insiders call “hall of fame traits.” If he isn’t self-motivated to return to the football field as soon as possible, then we have a much bigger problem.
Although by every indication on social media, Becton is chomping at the bit to return to the gridiron to play with his teammates.
This will be a tougher decision than it seems on the surface for the Jets this season.
Do you bring him back for maybe the final two weeks after not playing for over three months? Possibly risking re-injury and thus extending these issues into the offseason and then into 2022?
Or do you simply wave the white flag on what is already a lost year and get him ready to go for full offseason training activities?
We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but for Becton, if he wants all these insiders to shut up and stop sharing these damning opinions about his weight, motivation, and maturity issues the solution is simple. Show up, stay healthy, and do your job.
If you’re able to do that, then all of this will just be background noise as you’re realizing your full potential as a young star offensive tackle in the NFL.