The NY Jets completely mishandled Mekhi Becton’s injury situation on Thursday.
The NY Jets haven’t done many things right since the 2020 season kicked off. But on Thursday, they took part in perhaps their most egregious error yet with their handling of the Mekhi Becton situation.
One of the only bright stops in an otherwise dark season has been the play of Becton. The Jets’ prized first-round rookie has looked exceptional through the first few games of the season and appears to be well on his way towards becoming a long-term building block for years to come.
For this reason, you’d expect the organization — an organization with very little going right for it at the moment — to protect that player at all costs. Becton’s well-being, for really any competent organization, would be priority No. 1.
The Jets are not a competent organization.
Becton was injured in the first half of the Jets’ Week 3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The 21-year-old hurt his shoulder towards the end of the first half and was swiftly declared out for the remainder of the game.
Although the worst was feared, initial test results revealed that the injury was not as serious as first anticipated. In fact, the team even indicated that Becton could play just a few days later when the Jets took on the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football.
This seemed unlikely, especially given Becton’s lack of reps in practice. Yet, when Thursday arrived, Becton was surprisingly listed as active — only he wasn’t going to be starting.
Apparently, the Jets did not believe that Becton was healthy enough to start, but they believed that he was healthy enough to serve as an emergency backup. The idiocy behind that sentiment doesn’t need to be stated.
Sure enough, his replacement, Chuma Edoga, went down on just the fourth play of the game forcing Becton on to the field. And from his very first snap, it was apparent that he was in obvious pain.
Becton clutched his shoulder after each of the 16 agonizing snaps that he played before he eventually relented and took himself out.
He should have never been in the game in the first place. And that fault falls solely on the shoulders of head coach Adam Gase.
And did Gase own up to his mistake after the game? Did he admit that he may have pushed the rookie too far? Actually, he did quite the opposite.
When asked about Becton’s injury, he told reports that the rookie had “pulled himself out of the game,” essentially throwing his player under the bus.
The NY Jets took advantage of Mekhi Becton.
You have to understand the situation for a moment. Becton is a tough-as-nails rookie trying to find his footing in the league. If the coaching staff gives him an opportunity to play, he’s going to play regardless of whether or not it’s best for his health.
Adam Gase and the Jets took advantage of a rookie they knew wouldn’t say no.
Gase attempted to justify his decision after the game stating that Becton only played because there was no chance for re-injury. But at the end of the day, when it’s clear that your promising first-round pick is in agony on the field, how do you rationalize keeping him in the game?
It isn’t the job of the player to remove himself from the game. That’s the job of the head coach — someone who should be looking out for his players.
Adam Gase didn’t do that. The entire Jets coaching staff didn’t do that. And as a result, they left their star rookie — a player who should be protected arguably more than anyone in that building — out to suffer.
Even if the claim that there was no chance of re-injury was valid, why risk it? The risk/reward doesn’t make sense.
The Jets completely botched the Mekhi Becton situation. But at this point, is anyone really surprised?
Becton deserves better. The players deserve better. Shame on Adam Gase and the NY Jets.