Jets’ Robert Saleh Breaks Silence on Mekhi Becton’s Future

Mekhi Becton Jets

Getty New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton walking off the football field.

The drama is finally over, New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh revealed what we all suspected, offensive tackle Mekhi Becton is likely done for the season.

During his Monday zoom presser with the media, Saleh said “barring a miracle” we won’t see the former first-rounder until 2022:

It is disappointing, but not surprising news. Becton was originally injured back in Week 1 versus the Carolina Panthers on a routine passing play.

He dislocated his knee cap and suffered some ligament damage, but wasn’t expected to be out for the season after further testing.

The initial timeline was a six to eight-week recovery, but the surgery/recovery time didn’t go as expected. Essentially the team underestimated his return date and now the big man faces a huge offseason ahead of him.

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An Unfortunate Series of Events

When Becton was selected with the No. 11 overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, it was done so with a tremendous level of risk.

The narrative was if he can stay healthy, Becton has a chance to be one of, if not, the best-left tackle in all of football.

That has proven true when the big man out of Louisville has been on the football field. He has displayed rare SportsCenter highlights of dominance.

Unfortunately, the other side of the narrative has also proven true, Becton hasn’t been able to stay on the football field.

With his season unofficially in the books, “barring a miracle”, that means he will have missed 18 games in his two professional seasons. Additionally, Becton also missed portions of four other contests that he started but didn’t finish back in 2020.

With two more years left on his contract and a future fifth-year option on the table, this upcoming offseason is absolutely massive for the big man.

While it is disappointing we won’t see him again in 2020, the silver lining out of all of this is he should be a full-go for the start of 2022.

An Interesting Thing to Consider

General manager Joe Douglas selected Becton to be the blindside protector of the future. Although everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

This season while he has been out of the picture, Gang Green was forced to call an audible at the line of scrimmage and insert George Fant in at left tackle. Not only has it worked out, but the veteran has thrived in his new role.

During Sunday’s win versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fant didn’t allow a single pressure and finished with an 88.5 PFF grade (second among all offensive tackles in the NFL).

During Monday’s press conference, DJ Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News asked coach Saleh if he’d consider moving Becton to right tackle when he returns, considering how well Fant has played?

“I’m not going to deal with that one right now. Let’s see where Mekhi’s mindset is and see him get back and healthy that’s the most important thing, then we’ll go from there.”

That was the right answer from Saleh right now. He has no reason to create any kind of controversy at the end of December with Becton not even returning to the field until next spring.

He kicked the can down the road, but it was interesting that he didn’t just completely shut that possibility down.

The Jets are dealing with a first-world problem with their offensive line depth and having options is always a good thing.

Fant is under contract through 2022 with a $10.6 million cap hit and the green and white will assuredly bring him back at that number.

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