Jets Place LT Duane Brown On IR

SEPTEMBER 10: Brown is being placed on IR, Garafolo tweets. He adds that surgery was an option to address the issue, but Brown has instead opted for rehab. He will be eligible to return as early as Week 5, meaning that Fant will once again see an extended stretch manning the blindside.

SEPTEMBER 9: As head coach Robert Saleh confirmed on Friday, Brown will indeed miss the season opener against the Ravens. That will move Fant to left tackle, while Mitchell will start on the right side (video links). Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets that Brown could land on IR, depending on the severity of the injury.

SEPTEMBER 8: The Jets have already been dealt one significant blow this offseason with respect to their offensive line, losing Mekhi Becton for the year. His replacement may not be available to start the season. 

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Duane Brown is “being evaluated for a shoulder injury,” reports ESPN’s Rich Cimini (Twitter link). He adds that the five-time Pro Bowler did not practice yesterday, and is absent once again today.

The 37-year-old represented arguably the top free agent option once the news of Becton’s season-ending knee injury was learned, and was quickly named as a potential replacement. Not long after visiting New York, Brown ultimately signed a two-year, $22MM deal to occupy the left tackle spot.

His absence would be substantial for the Jets. Brown was expected to provide more consistency than the team has had since drafting Becton, as part of the team’s upgraded unit which now features left guard Laken TomlinsonIn addition, the team would have to consider several options to fill the void Brown would leave if he were to be sidelined.

Moving veteran George Fant from right tackle back to the blindside would be a possibility. Fant was initially slated to play on the left side with Becton moving to the right edge, but that plan changed upon Brown’s arrival. Manning the LT spot last season in Becton’s absence, Fant earned a PFF grade of 71.1 – the second highest of his career.

Even assuming Fant is the Jets’ short-term option on the left, their choice at the right side would likely come down to Conor McDermott and rookie Max Mitchell. The former just re-signed with the team, which will increase his tenure in the Big Apple to four years. He has had availability troubles of his own in 2022 already though, having missed the preseason due to an ankle injury. The latter, meanwhile, was a fourth-rounder in April’s draft out of Louisiana.

The Jets lost Morgan Moses during free agency, and waived Chuma Edoga last week. Without either player available as insurance, Brown’s health will be worth watching closely in the build-up to New York’s season opener.

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