AUGUST 16: The Jets have placed Becton on IR as rosters are cut down to 85, per a club announcement. That confirms that Becton will indeed miss the entire 2022 campaign, as had been feared.
AUGUST 9: More official word has come down on Becton’s injury. He suffered an avulsion fracture of the right kneecap, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The injury, Becton’s second kneecap issue in less than a year, is expected to sideline the former first-round pick throughout the season. Becton will receive a second opinion Wednesday, but it looks like he will be out until 2023. Robert Saleh also conceded Becton will not play this season. The Jets have Brown on their radar, and the 14-year veteran is interested in a deal.
AUGUST 8: It’s gone from bad to worse for the Jets and right tackle Mekhi Becton. According to SNY’s Connor Hughes (on Twitter), Becton suffered a knee cap and patella injury that is expected to sideline him for at least a “chunk” of the 2022 campaign, if not the entire season.
According to Aaron Wilson ofProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter), Becton suffered a “small chip-sized fracture” in his surgically repaired right knee. The lineman is set to undergo more tests to determine the true extent of his injured knee, but according to Hughes, the Jets are “bracing for the worst.”
The former first-round pick exited Jets practice today with the injury, but there wasn’t any initial cause for concern. Trainers described the injury as “stable,” and the MRI was merely precautionary and intended to confirm the original prognosis. However, that MRI ended up showing that the injury was far more troublesome than initially believed. In fact, there’s fear that Becton may have suffered additional damage beyond the knee cap and patella injuries, per Hughes (on Twitter).
This is poor timing for both Becton and the Jets. The lineman had already lost out on the left tackle competition to George Fant, but it sounds like the Jets were still committed to their former first-round pick as their right tackle. Ahead of an offseason decision about his fifth-year option, this was going to be a pivotal third year for Becton. The 11th-overall pick in the 2020 draft, Becton showed his potential in 14 games (13 starts) as a rookie. He suffered a dislocated kneecap and MCL damage during Week 1 of the 2021 campaign, knocking him out for the rest of the season.
Assuming the subsequent MRI confirms the Jets’ concerns, the front office may need to hustle to add a replacement. Backup Conor McDermott is currently sidelined with an ankle injury, and Chuma Edoga has yet to live up to his third-round billing through his first three seasons in the NFL. The Jets hosted Duane Brown last week, and while he left New York without a contract, ESPN’s Rich Cimini tweets that the veteran tackle is still on the organization’s radar. According to Hughes, the Jets already had Brown take a physical and meet with coaches, so it might not take long for the organization to ink the free agent to a contract.