The New York Jets have been dealing with the injury bug all year long in 2021.
Gang Green has had no choice but to adapt to their ever-evolving situation from an injury perspective.
One player we’ve all been holding out hope for is offensive tackle, Mekhi Becton. He was injured in the season opener versus the Carolina Panthers and had to be carted off of the field.
Most of us thought that he would be done for the season after undergoing knee surgery, but the team received better news than they were anticipating during the follow-up medical procedures.
Despite that positive news, it has been months of vague updates and that continued this week from head coach Robert Saleh who also left a strange door open.
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Extremely Vague and Uninspiring Update
Becton was initially set to return after an eight-week hiatus, but the timeline has continued to get delayed. Now we enter Week 14 with only five games left on the docket and Becton won’t return this week versus the New Orleans Saints.
On Wednesday coach Saleh refused to admit there has been any medical setback, instead suggeting that everyone heals differently.
When asked a follow-up if he’ll return this season, Saleh says he remains “hopeful” that will still happen, although every week that passes everyone seems to be getting less and less optimistic about that.
Some are openly wondering with only so many games left on the calendar, perhaps it would behoove the Jets to shut him down and get him ready for 2022.
“No, I don’t think it’s ever too late,” coach Saleh on Becton returning later this year. “I think he’s got a desire to play for his teammates, play for his family, and all that. So, whether it’s one game, two games, I don’t think it really matters to him, he just wants to get back on the field.”
Stunning Possible Position Change Could Be Coming
Saleh was asked what position Becton would play if he is able to return this season to which the coach responded, “I’ll speculate on that one later.”
It was an odd comment that hasn’t gotten much run on social media or among the beat reporters, but certainly, it raised several eyebrows.
Becton was originally taken with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Louisville. When he was selected, the 22-year old was immediately crowned the blindside protector of the future.
Unfortunately, he has battled an array of injuries across his first two seasons in the league.
In the NFL the world doesn’t stop for anyone, so when one man goes down, another must rise to the occasion and that has certainly transpired.
Not only has the duo survived, they have absolutely thrived.
Fant hasn’t allowed more than two pressures in 11 games this season. He has been so good at left tackle that it has Saleh at the very least thinking about shifting Becton to a different position when/if he returns healthy.
That should be a huge feather in the cap of general manager Joe Douglas who caught a lot of flack for initially signing the unproven Fant in free agency, yet he has been a star when called upon.