The Jets were bracing for the worst after Mekhi Becton limped off the practice field on Monday with an apparent knee injury.
After some additional testing, that worst-case scenario has arrived.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh confirmed to reporters on Tuesday morning that Becton's season is likely over due to his new right knee injury.
Saleh added that Becton suffered a fracture in his kneecap. He'll have an additional evaluation on his surgically-repaired right knee on Wednesday, Saleh said.
This news is devastating for both Becton and the Jets.
For New York, the Jets are losing one of their starting tackles once again. Becton is a former first-round pick, an asset that was poised to be a key building block for this franchise. He was going to start at right tackle this year, protecting quarterback Zach Wilson, a crucial component in helping New York's second-year quarterback bring the best out of this offense, a group that's added a slew of weapons over the last few years.
With Becton out, Gang Green is in a tough spot. It's clear they need to add a tackle that's capable of starting at this level. Veteran Duane Brown is still available in free agency and recently visited with New York during training camp. Internally, New York will move forward with backups Chuma Edoga, Conor McDermott (who is out for the next few weeks with an ankle sprain) and rookie Max Mitchell.
Meanwhile, this is a huge blow for Becton, adding fuel to the preexisting narrative that he's unable to stay on the field. After his promising rookie year in 2020, the former No. 11 pick suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1 against Carolina, the beginning of a long road to recovery with heaps of criticism over his weight.
Now, the future for Becton is uncertain. Back-to-back lost seasons will cast a dark shadow over any of Becton's potential moving forward, forcing general manager Joe Douglas to consider moving on.
"We love Mekhi. His ride is not over," Saleh told reporters on Tuesday.
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