George Fant is back at practice Wednesday. The Jets have started the veteran tackle’s IR-return clock, which gives the team three weeks to move him back onto the 53-man roster. Fant has been out since Week 3. The Jets are in good shape, activation-wise, with six such moves remaining.
A knee injury led to Fant being shut down. While Fant attempted to play through the malady during a rough day against the Bengals, he did not finish that game and was soon shelved. Fant has dealt with knee trouble for a bit now. He went down with a knee injury late last season and began training camp on the Jets’ active/PUP list as a result.
Fant’s return would be a boon for an offense that has played without its optimal tackle arrangement all season. The team aimed at having Fant at left tackle and Mekhi Becton on the right side, but Becton’s season-ending avulsion fracture soon nixed that. Gang Green then planned on having Fant move back to right tackle to play opposite Duane Brown. The latter’s preseason injury scrapped that concept. Fant’s injury then prompted the team to move second-year guard Alijah Vera-Tucker to tackle, but Vera-Tucker is now out for the season.
Brown and Fant have yet to play together in New York. Should Fant return to action, the former Seahawks teammates will be slated to start together as Jets tackles — at long last. Although the Jets signed Mike Remmers as tackle insurance, they have used fellow in-season pickup Cedric Ogbuehi — signed off the Texans’ practice squad in late September — as their right-side starter during Fant’s absence.
From 2020-21, Fant was a Jets constant at tackle. The ex-college basketball player and ex-Seahawks swingman started at right tackle in 2020 and left tackle, replacing an injured Becton, in 2021. Extension buzz circulated this offseason, but no deal came to fruition. The Jets’ plan to have Fant play on the left side set up the prospect of a considerable raise for the 30-year-old blocker, but Brown’s arrival — on a two-year, $20MM deal — and the knee injury changed the equation for the third-year Jet.