After missing the Cardinals’ last six games on injured reserve, Wilkinson is now on track to return to his starting left guard post this season. Arizona has used a mixture of Trystan Colon and Carter O’Donnell to fill the spot in the interim.
King found his way to the Texans’ practice squad after being waived by the Steelers and was elevated to game action last week. After starting 25 games for Houston in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, King will be a welcome addition back to the active roster.
Hardee has missed six games with a hamstring injury. The Pro Bowl special teamer returned to practice today alongside quarterbackAaron Rodgers and Schweitzer. Schweitzer was one of several offensive linemen in New York who sustained injuries earlier this year, but after missing the four games required of an IR stint, Schweitzer is working to return, as well.
The Jets managed an improbable win Sunday, but their offensive line left the Giants matchup in bad shape. In addition to being without Joe Tippmann, the Jets lost his replacement and their starting center.
Coming into the Giants tilt without Duane Brown as well, the Jets’ O-line IR contingent is now crowded. Brown, who spent most of the offseason rehabbing a rotator cuff surgery, is down with a hip injury. Saleh said this will be the earliest window for Brown to return to practice, despite the 38-year-old being eligible to practice last week.
Both McGovern and Schweitzer are in play to come back this season, per Saleh, but this obviously deals a blow to a Jets team that has seen injuries destabilize their offense. McGovern also may need surgery, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini tweets, but the team is hoping he can rehab without a procedure and return in 2023. While Saleh said the team would be interested in adding an O-lineman before the trade deadline (via the New York Post’s Brian Costello), he cautioned that a move was unlikely due to teams’ presumptive unwillingness to jettison a blocker.
After seeing Aaron Rodgers go down on his fourth play with the team, the Jets lost Brown once again. The former Texans and Seahawks Pro Bowler has missed the past five games. McGovern and Schweitzer are guaranteed to miss four. Gang Green is still in good shape, activations-wise, holding seven entering Week 9. But the O-line figures to comprise multiple such moves going forward.
The Jets re-signed McGovern this offseason — on what turned out to be a massive pay cut, considering he played out a three-year deal worth $27MM — and have only once needed to worry about an injury replacement during his four-season stay. McGovern, 30, started all but one game on his previous Jets contract. He re-signed on a one-year, $1.92MM deal but beat out Schweitzer and Tippmann this offseason. A former Broncos fourth-round pick, McGovern has started every Jets game this season.
Schweitzer, 30, has only started one game, having replaced Tippmann against the Giants. The Jets gave Schweitzer a two-year, $5MM deal before they reconvened with McGovern about a second contract. Schweitzer represented experienced depth for the team, having started 60 games with Atlanta and Washington from 2017-22. An early-season concussion cut his 2022 campaign short, limiting the former sixth-round pick to seven games last year. While Schweitzer bounced back to compete for a Jets starting role this offseason, he settled into a utility spot.
Tippmann missed Week 8 with a thigh injury, but the second-round rookie remains on the active roster. As of now, however, only Laken Tomlinson and Mekhi Becton remain healthy among Jets first-string O-linemen. The Jets were forced to turn to Billy Turner, who had been working more at guard in practice recently, and practice squad elevation Xavier Newman-Johnson in place of the injured vets. Turner should be expected to start at right guard moving forward. Prior to returning to Denver to follow Nathaniel Hackett last year, Turner had spent time at guard in Green Bay. The 32-year-old blocker’s first Denver stint also included guard work, which will allow the Jets to make good use of their veteran O-line depth.
As the Jets’ months-long issue along the offensive line moves into the mainstream, via a brief Hard Knocks segment, the team still has not turned to Mekhi Becton as a first-stringer during training camp.
After showing promise as a rookie, Becton saw extensive injury troubles and weight issues sidetrack his career. The 2020 first-round pick has not played since Week 1 of the 2021 season, but he lost around 50 pounds this offseason. Becton criticized the Jets’ coaching staff for moving him to right tackle last year, a switch he believes led to his knee reinjury. But the talented blocker is now believed to be onboard with playing on the right side. The Jets are trying Becton at right tackle Thursday, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets, marking the first time that has taken place during this year’s camp.
The Jets still have not used Becton as a first-stringer this year. Despite Duane Brown remaining on Gang Green’s active/PUP list, Becton has worked behind Billy Turner and Max Mitchell at tackle. Even as the team’s depleted front has struggled in joint practices with the Panthers and Buccaneers, Saleh is waiting on giving Becton extended run.
“The biggest thing for Mekhi is to show that he can play a game without having to be spelled out,” Robert Saleh said, via the New York Post’s Brian Costello. “It’s unfair to the team to prepare a guy to start if you are not sure he can make it through a game. He is moving in the right direction.”
While Becton brings a much higher ceiling compared to Turner and Mitchell, his injury baggage is among the most extensive in recent NFL history. Missing nearly two full seasons, Becton also missed practice time earlier in camp and asked out of the Jets’ Hall of Fame Game. He did return to play 27 snaps against the Panthers last weekend, marking a good sign. The Jets may soon have no choice but to bump Becton into their starting lineup, given the state of their line. But Saleh continues to proceed cautiously.
As injuries mounted last season, the Jets shifted emerging guard Alijah Vera-Tucker to right tackle. The 2021 first-rounder suffered a season-ending triceps injury while at that position, but the team returned him to guard this offseason. The team is again considering Vera-Tucker at tackle, Saleh said (via Costello), though the third-year HC reminded that the team loves the USC alum at guard. Vera-Tucker has also missed recent time due to injury, along with the Jets’ other guard starter — Laken Tomlinson. Neither practiced against the Bucs on Wednesday.
Should the Jets try a “best five” scenario in Week 1, Cimini offers that Wes Schweitzer — who is competing withConnor McGovern at center — could be shifted to guard as Vera-Tucker slides back to right tackle. Although Schweitzer is competing at center, the ex-Atlanta and Washington starter has extensive guard experience. He started at right guard against Carolina last weekend. The Jets also have second-round rookie Joe Tippmann in the mix, rounding out a deep O-line interior on a team that has faced tackle questions for months.
While Saleh has said Vera-Tucker has All-Pro potential at guard, urgency to place a competent line in front of Aaron Rodgers may supersede the team’s long-term plan for the third-year blocker. As for Brown, Saleh said the team’s preferred left tackle option is moving closer to a return from offseason shoulder surgery.
The Jets did not make Connor McGovern a high priority this offseason, waiting until just before the draft to re-sign him. A three-year Jets center starter, McGovern signed a one-year deal worth $1.92MM.
Although McGovern may eventually be asked to step aside for second-round pick Joe Tippmann, that point might not come in Week 1. McGovern and veteran Wes Schweitzer are the top two players battling for the job, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter).
Pegged as a player set to make a push to start going into camp, Tippmann is running third in this competition. Robert Saleh said the team would like to have a winner here after its second preseason game. Seeing as the winner in this competition will be the center on the highest-profile Jets team in over a decade, this matchup takes on a bit more importance. The Jets have big question marks at both tackle spots, and guard Alijah Vera-Tucker is coming back after a triceps tear ended his second season. The team’s first-string center will obviously play a critical role on the team’s first Aaron Rodgers-piloted offense.
The Jets chose Tippmann 43rd overall. That draft status suggests the Wisconsin product will be asked to start, but the AFC East may feature two O-lines with Connor McGoverns in first-string roles (the Bills signed the former Cowboys guard in March). This would, of course, not be new territory for the elder of the NFL’s blocking McGoverns; the Jets have used the former Broncos draftee as their starting center throughout the 2020s.
McGovern, 30, missed just two games over the course of the three-year, $27MM deal the Jets authorized in 2020. This year’s center market featured several free agents re-signing for lower-end money. Ethan Pocic (Browns), Jake Brendel (49ers), Garrett Bradbury (Vikings) and Bradley Bozeman (Panthers) returned to their respective teams. While this quartet all received between $4MM and $6MM per year to re-sign, it left McGovern with fewer opportunities. The Jets guaranteed the veteran starter just $1.25MM.
Pro Football Focus graded the Mizzou alum as a top-10 center in each of the past two seasons, but despite GM Joe Douglas being in power when the Jets initially signed McGovern, the team made it a priority to select Tippmann early. They also gave Schweitzer a bigger contract, signing the ex-Atlanta and Washington interior O-lineman to a one-year, $5MM deal in March. That pact came with $3.17MM guaranteed. That contract suggests an even matchup with McGovern, despite the latter’s experience in New York.
Schweitzer, who will turn 30 next month, has made 60 career starts. Twenty-four of those came in Washington. PFF rated Schweitzer 27th among centers last season, though he only played in seven games due to a lengthy concussion-induced absence. The advanced metrics site rated Schweitzer as a top-10 guard in 2021, however. The loser of the competition could represent interior O-line depth alongside Tippmann’s heir apparent role, but New York’s tackle situation complicates that from a numbers perspective.
The Jets have added some versatility to their offensive line. The team announced that they’ve agreed to a deal with offensive lineman Wes Schweitzer.
The former sixth-round pick has managed to put together a seven-year career thanks in part to that versatility. Schweitzer has played at least one career snap at every offensive line position, although the majority of his playing time has come at left guard and right guard.
Schweitzer started 36 of his 46 appearances for Atlanta between 2017 and 2019, and he started 13 games during his first season in Washington in 2020. He only started five of his 11 appearances in 2021 before returning to the starting lineup in 2022, starting six of his seven appearances thanks to an ankle injury that landed him on IR. He finished the season ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 27th center (among 36 qualifiers).
ESPN’s John Keim tweets that the Commanders were interested in retaining the free agent offensive lineman. Ultimately, the team determined that they already have several veterans who should be able to fill in for Schweitzer.
Schweitzer will enter the season as a backup, but his versatility obviously provides the Jets with some flexibility when an injury inevitably hits. The Jets have lost a bit of OL depth during the early days of free agency with Nate Herbig heading to the Steelers.
The Jets made another OL move today, re-signing Adam Pankey, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). The 29-year-old has appeared in nine games since entering the NFL in 2017, although he didn’t make a single appearance in 2022 while sitting on the Jets’ practice squad.
DECEMBER 3: The Commanders announced today that they have officially activated Schweitzer from IR in time for the team’s matchup with the Giants. Turner has been ruled out this week with knee and ankle issues, freeing up a starting spot on the offensive line. It’s unclear whether the Commanders will want to play Schweitzer at the center position at which he had been starting and move Larsen over to fill in for Turner or if Schweitzer will just slide into the open spot at right guard.
NOVEMBER 30: Wes Schweitzer has missed almost two months of action because of a concussion he sustained early this season. But the veteran offensive lineman will have a chance to play again this season.
The Commanders designated Schweitzer for return on Wednesday, opening his 21-day practice window. Washington was using Schweitzer as a starter before he went down in September. The team has pivoted to a Panthers reunion at guard over the past several weeks, moving Trai Turner into the lineup alongside Andrew Norwell.
It obviously is a cause for concern when a player misses an extended stretch because of a concussion, and while Norwell was out, the league changed its concussion protocol. But the team will observe the seventh-year blocker in practice ahead of a possible activation. Washington has four injury activations remaining. One of those figures to be earmarked for Carson Wentz, whom the team designated for return last week.
In the third season of a three-year, $13.5MM deal, Schweitzer has worked primarily as a starter with Washington. The current regime authorized his contract and has used him as a starter in 20 games over the past three seasons. With Chase Roullier going down early in the season as well, the Commanders had moved Schweitzer to center. He played every snap there in the Commanders’ Week 3 matchup against the Eagles. Tyler Larsen, whom the team activated from the reserve/PUP list earlier this season, has been the Commanders’ starting center over the past several weeks. Pro Football Focus rates Larsen as the league’s 28th-best center this season.
Schweitzer, who started 36 games with the Falcons over the course of his rookie contract, would give the Commanders some options as they aim to become the rare team to go from 1-4 to the playoffs — a route the franchise took during Schweitzer’s first season in town.
The Commanders have been dealt another blow on the offensive front. Veteran interior lineman Wes Schweitzerhas been placed on IR, per a team announcement. The news comes after he was held out of practice this week with a concussion, and guarantees that he will miss at least the next four games.
The 29-year-old played every snap in the team’s Week 3 loss to the Eagles, after missing the previous contest and leaving the season opener early. He began the year as the starting right guard, but changes were required after center Chase Roulliersuffered a major knee injury. That shifted Schweitzer to the middle, though he did nothing to help his PFF rating for the year. With a pass protection grade of 21.6, the San Jose State product has given up six pressures in limited action this year.
As a result, Washington will likely turn to Nick Martinon Sunday. The veteran signed just over one week ago as an insurance option in the wake of Roullier’s injury. The former Texans second-rounder was a full-time starter during his time in Houston, but he was relegated to backup duties last year with the Raiders. The absence of both Roullier and Schweitzer could clear the way for him to once again take on first-team duties.
Elsewhere on the o-line, left tackle Charles Lenois dealing with a shoulder injury, though he is expected to play on Sunday. Still, with Schweitzer joining Roullier and reserve linemen Willie Beaverson IR, the unit will be one to watch as the Commanders look to move to 2-2 against the Cowboys.
September 19th, 2022 at 3:55pm CST by Sam Robinson
After an eight-game 2021 season, Chase Roullier is facing a second straight year with an extended absence. The Commanders center is heading to IR with what ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes (via Twitter) is a significant knee injury.
Roullier, who suffered a season-ending fibula fracture in Week 8 last year, will seek a second opinion on his latest injury, according to John Keim of ESPN.com. The veteran center left Sunday’s game with barely a minute remaining and exited Ford Field on crutches.
Last year’s injury required extensive procedures, leading Roullier to begin Washington’s 2022 training camp on the active/PUP list. He joined Chase Young and Logan Thomas as notable Commanders needing additional rehab from injuries sustained last season. Roullier, 29, returned to work and was good to go by Week 1, beginning his sixth season as Washington’s center starter. Now, the Commanders will need to make another adjustment.
Wes Schweitzer will take over for Roullier at center, Keim adds. One of many veteran presences on Washington’s O-line, Schweitzer began his season as the team’s starting right guard. The Commanders signed longtime Panthers starter Trai Turner this offseason. After not cracking Washington’s starting lineup to open the season, Turner will become the team’s full-time right guard. He did line up with the starters in Detroit due to a Schweitzer hamstring injury.
This is a tough blow to a team that lost perennial Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff in free agency. Pro Football Focus has rated the Washington O-line as the league’s sixth-best blocking unit in 2020 and 2021. While injuries have regularly hit this position group, Washington not having Scherff to anchor this year’s front five will make for a more difficult task replacing Roullier. Washington gave the former sixth-round pick a four-year, $40.5MM deal at the end of the 2020 season. That accord ranks as the NFL’s sixth-most lucrative center contract. Roullier (63 career starts) has been a first-unit presence since his rookie year.
A former Falcons starter, Schweitzer is in Year 3 of a three-year, $13.5MM Washington deal. The 29-year-old blocker has made 18 starts with Washington and 51 over the course of his seven-year career. The ex-sixth-rounder has almost exclusively played guard, however. Turner, 29, is even more experienced, having lined up as a starting guard 107 times.