Entering 2021, things have changed dramatically thanks to some really big power moves from Gang Green general manager, and former hog molly Joe Douglas.
Late in the offseason, the Jets signed veteran offensive tackle Morgan Moses, previously of the Washington Football Team. That addition bolstered both the star power and depth of the green and white offensive tackle group.
This sets up a fantastic heavyweight bout that could be one of the sneaky best battles to watch out for in training camp.
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You Know What They Say About People Who Assume…
When Moses joined the Jets a month ago, most experts immediately penciled in the former WFT star as the new starting right tackle.
The veteran has proven to be an iron man over the last six years starting 96 consecutive games. Not only has he been reliable from an attendance point of view, but he’s been a stalwart at tackle.
While Fant was a highly criticized addition to the roster last offseason, he more than lived up to the hype and shut a lot of people up with his average level of play. Despite his efforts, on paper, he appears to be a lesser player in every possible metric to Moses.
When Gang Green head coach Robert Saleh was asked about the signing, he clarified matters very quickly:
“Moses has been a tremendous player for many years in this league. As far as naming him the starting right tackle? Fant has had some fantastic OTAs and did a really nice job in minicamp. He’s got all the tools necessary to be a successful right tackle also. There’s a ton of competition in that room and it’s going to be fun to watch.”
An Unforeseen Snag Ahead of Jets Camp
On the eve of Jets training camp, Fant received some disappointing news.
The 29-year old offensive tackle was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He was one of 15 NFL players that appeared on the list with 14 of those resulting from a positive test.
So what does that mean?
If Fant tested positive for COVID and wasn’t just a close contact, there are two potential paths:
- If he’s vaccinated he can return to the Jets after two negative tests that are 24 hours apart.
- If he’s non-vaccinated then the 2020 NFL protocols remain in place and he’ll be required to be away from the team for a 10-day isolation period.
One way or another this will be another obstacle in his path as Fant tries to hold onto his job for dear life.
Moses is the favorite and now will get a head start with all the first-team reps while Fant is dealing with this COVID situation.
Regardless of how this battle works out, the “loser” in this will still prove to be a key cog in this Jets’ offensive line machine.
In the NFL, you can never have enough depth in the trenches and no one knows that better than the Jets who have been on the wrong end of that more times than not.
Finally, in 2021 they’re dealing with what the kids call a first-world problem. If Mekhi Becton or the other right tackle (whoever wins that battle) gets hurt, they’ll have a more than capable backup swing option ready to step up to the plate.