The New York Jets are dealing with a slew of very concerning injuries ahead of the Week 1 matchup versus the Baltimore Ravens.
He didn’t practice on Wednesday and he’s not practicing on Thursday, September 8. Rich Cimini of ESPN described the developing events as “ominous news” ahead of the season opener.
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From Bad to Worse on the Jets Offensive Line
Brown was supposed to be a security blanket for this offense after they lost former first-rounder Mekhi Becton for the season due to a knee injury.
On August 15 he signed a two-year deal for $20 million that featured $9 million of that guaranteed at signing.
Instead, it appears the 37-year-old might not be able to suit up for his first game in green and white.
The veteran was visiting the Jets prior to any injuries happening on the offensive line which seemed to suggest the team was trying to secure some depth in the trenches.
That plan quickly changed when Becton went down and Brown was signed as a starter, no longer as a depth piece.
However, the Jets chose not to pursue any outside-the-building options after that. The reason? Saleh said he believes in his guys in-house:
“We really do like our backup situation. We have faith in our backup offensive linemen. Any time you get hurt you have to test your depth. It does become scary waters.”
This Saleh answer was prior to the Jets officially adding Brown, but the point remains that he believed in the depth at the position.
Time for a Rookie to Step up to the Plate for the Jets
If Brown is unable to go against the Ravens on Sunday, the Jets will have to play some musical chairs at offensive tackle.
One name the team is likely going to call upon is rookie Max Mitchell out of Louisiana. When he was initially taken with the No. 111 overall pick in the fourth-round draft experts called him a developmental player.
The thought was he could redshirt his rookie season and gain some strength. If everything lined up properly maybe he could compete for a starting job in 2023.
It appears we may be on a far more accelerated timeline, but if that’s the case Saleh seems pleasantly surprised with the rookie’s development this offseason:
“I love his play demeanor, mindset, and I love where he is at with regards to responsibility and execution. Obviously, he has a ways to go with regards to understanding pass sets and how to play in those 1-on-1 situations, and the same thing in the run game. I like where he is at, obviously, he has a ways to go, but he is a lot further along than we thought.”
Well, coach you better hope so because Week 1 could prove to be a surprising debut for the day three rookie.