$20 Million Jets Veteran Provides Concerning Injury Update

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh reacting in the middle of a press conference.

There are some major question marks surrounding a key starter for the New York Jets.

Duane Brown revealed an extremely eyebrow-raising injury update when asked by the media if he plans on being ready for training camp.

“Gotta figure that out. See how the doctors, trainers, and everyone with the conclusion we come to at that time,” Brown explained on Wednesday, May 31 during media availability. “Like I said right now I’m really good in my progress.”

The 37-year-old who will turn 38 before the season starts had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff this offseason.

Duane Brown’s Rehab Could Cause the Jets Quite a Stir

Brown described his recovery as a “long process” this offseason.

According to HSS the No. 1 orthopedic hospital, it takes “six to eight weeks for the tendon to heal to the bone.” However, the recovery timeline varies depending on the size of the tear.

Some extreme cases can take “anywhere from 6 to 12 months”, per HSS.

Brown entering the No. 17 season of his career at the ripe age of 37 certainly complicates recovery timelines.

The veteran offensive tackle initially tore his rotator cuff in the week prior to the season opener in 2022. He was placed on injured reserve which forced him to miss the first four games of the season.

Brown ended up playing and starting in 12 contests for the Jets in 2022.

He signed a two-year deal for $20 million and it featured $9 million in guarantees. Last year former Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur praised the big man for refusing to retire.

Brown could have walked away with his bag of guaranteed money but he chose to fight through it for his team.

Some Potential Trouble on the Horizon Between Duane Brown and Mekhi Becton

With the former Virginia Tech product noncommittal on being ready for training camp that raises plenty of questions for the Jets heading into 2023.

Brown didn’t join the green and white until August 15 of 2022. Due to the timing, he missed the majority of training camp. Now it seems like he could be set to miss a chunk of camp in 2023.

If that ends up coming to fruition, that could open the door for Mekhi Becton to reclaim his old left tackle gig.

Rich Cimini of ESPN said Becton is “ahead of Brown” in his own rehab and is “expected” to be ready to go for training camp in a column posted on Sunday, June 4.

Becton has made it clear he is a left tackle and he doesn’t want to play right tackle in 2023. Interestingly Brown had a very similar take during his media availability.

“I have not played a game at right tackle since junior year maybe sophomore year in college. So it’s not something I’ve practiced over the years. Not to say I can’t do it, but I’ve been solidified at that [left tackle] spot for a while.”

On paper, it is more feasible that Becton would play right tackle in 2023 than Brown. Duane has over 200 career starts at left tackle and hasn’t played on the right side since the mid-2000s. Becton was practicing right tackle during last year’s training camp.

However, Becton could have the first whack at the proverbial pinata in training camp this year. If he gets a firm grasp of the left tackle job, he might never let it go.

That could force the Jets to make a tough business decision at right tackle like an old dog (Brown) learning a new trick in year No. 17.

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