A lingering knee injury forced George Fant out of Sunday’s Jets-Bengals game, and the issue will sideline Fant for a while. The Jets placed the veteran tackle on IR Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
This moves yet another high-profile Jets tackle off the active roster. Fant’s IR shift follows the transactions that sent Mekhi Becton and Duane Brown to the injured list. While Brown will be eligible to return in Week 5, Fant is shut down until at least Week 8.
Robert Saleh classified Fant as “day to day” Monday. Instead, Fant’s IR placement further depletes the Jets at a premier position. The team finished Sunday’s Bengals tilt with Conor McDermott at left tackle. Fourth-round rookie Max Mitchell has played every snap for the Jets at right tackle this season. This is far from the initial configuration Gang Green planned, and Fant’s absence figures to make matters more difficult for Zach Wilson, who is on track to return from his August knee surgery in Week 4.
Fant had a tough day against standout Cincinnati defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who notched strip-sacks against Fant and McDermott. But Fant has been battling this knee problem all season, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes. The issue caused him to miss multiple practices last week.
Fant, 30, has been a vital O-line presence for the Jets since signing with the team as a free agent in 2020. The ex-Seahawk spent the 2020 season as the Jets’ right tackle starter and moved to the left side after Becton’s Week 1 injury last season. The Jets named Fant their starting left tackle before Becton’s training camp injury. After being on the Jets’ extension radar early this offseason, no deal came to fruition. Fant’s return from injury will begin a rather important stretch for the former college basketball player. His contract expires at season’s end.
When Fant returns, the Jets will hope to deploy the Brown-Fant tackle combo that has yet to take the field together. After winning the left tackle gig, Fant saw Brown’s late-summer signing move him back to the right side. The Jets signed veteran Mike Remmers as a stopgap option Monday. Remmers currently resides on Gang Green’s practice squad, but the journeyman right tackle is likely to be moved up to the 53-man roster soon.