Jets Bring Back $27 Million Veteran for Vikings Matchup

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh making a call during an NFL game.

The New York Jets are getting some big-time help in the trenches ahead of their matchup versus the Minnesota Vikings.

Gang Green announced on social media that they are activating veteran offensive tackle George Fant from injured reserve.

Fant has missed the last eight games dealing with a knee injury. His last appearance in an NFL game was back in Week 3 versus the Cincinnati Bengals.

George Fant Adds Some Much Needed Depth for Jets

Fant originally joined the Jets back during the 2019 free agency period signing a three-year deal worth $27.3 million.

He is in the midst of the final year of his contract and it seemed the Jets waited to give him an extension this offseason based on his prior durability issues.

In Fant’s seven years in the NFL, he has never started a full season. The former Western Kentucky product has missed 14 games in his career and he is set to return on Sunday versus the Vikings.

He returned to practice on November 23 and it wasn’t announced by the team whether or not he will start versus Minnesota.

Jets Execute a Flurry of Roster Moves Ahead of Vikings Game

The Jets have had to play a crazy game of musical chairs on the offensive line all season long.

Rookie Max Mitchell has appeared in fives games this season including four starts. He wasn’t supposed to return last week to the lineup but an injury to Cedric Ogbuehi forced the Jets’ hand.

Ogbuehi was just placed on injured reserve himself in a corresponding roster move to the Fant activation news.

Here is a crazy stat from Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic:

“If Max Mitchell starts at right tackle Sunday, it will mark the Jets’ sixth different starting offensive line combination this season. There might be a seventh soon if the Jets decide to start George Fant at right tackle.”

Here is an even crazier stat with Ogbuehi being placed on IR, the Jets have now placed six starting offensive linemen on injured reserve this season.

In other words, injured starting Jets offensive linemen have missed (or will combine to miss) over 43 games this season.

That is an insane stat that obviously gives a massive tip of the cap to the coaching staff of head coach Robert Saleh, offensive line coach John Benton, and of course general manager Joe Douglas for building depth and making moves when necessary.

Speaking of depth my best guess and what I would do with this Fant activation is make him the swing tackle.

In three games this season Fant has struggled according to the Pro Football Focus analytics:

  • 47.7 overall grade
  • 42.1 pass block grade
  • 55.4 run block grade

Fant’s knee hasn’t been right since the offseason and he tried to play through it. That decision ultimately landed him back on IR after some struggles.

Mitchell on the other hand has performed better than Fant in each of those PFF categories in more game appearances.

Fant is in the last year of his deal and is set to be a free agent this offseason. While Mitchell appears to be the long-term answer at right tackle.

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