The NY Jets went into the season with expectations of a revitalized offensive line, but their play through two weeks has generally been unimpressive. Their struggles against the Dallas Cowboys were obvious, with 38-year-old left tackle Duane Brown coming under heavy fire for his play against Micah Parsons.
Robert Saleh and the Jets were expecting a much better performance from Brown in the Jets' Week 3 duel with the hated New England Patriots. Instead of getting a healthy, locked-in Brown against one of the best pass rushers in the league in Matthew Judon, the Jets will need to start a backup.
Brown has been ruled out for Week 3 after not practicing all week long. This is a stunning reversal of the original plan for Brown, as Saleh said that he expected Brown to play. Hip and shoulder ailments appear to be weighing on the greybeard offensive lineman.
With Zach Wilson once again showing he is the NFL's worst quarterback under pressure in the Dallas loss, the Jets needed to make keeping him upright in the pocket the top priority in Week 3. Instead, they are leaking coolant at one of the most important positions in the league.
NY Jets tackle Duane Brown out for Week 3 vs. Patriots.
On top of the fact that Brown's production is not as impressive as it was during his Pro Bowl days with the Texans and Seahawks, the veteran has found it difficult to stay healthy with the Jets. Even during the 2022 season, Brown played through several serious upper body injuries.
The Jets could use this as an opportunity to slide Mekhi Becton over to his natural left tackle spot, move Alijah Vera-Tucker to right tackle, and insert rookie Joe Tippman in at right guard. Unfortunately, such a dramatic overhaul of the line might be too much for this team less than 24 hours until game time.
The most likely plan is to put Billy Turner, a Nathaniel Hackett favorite from Green Bay and Denver, in at left tackle. Pay no mind to the fact Turner struggled during the preseason so alarmingly that it made some wonder if he was even going to make the final roster.
The Jets have a tall order this Sunday, as New England's defense has overcome thier own injury problems and generally performed well. Scoring points without a lineman like Brown could be even more difficult, especially now that Judon and Bill Belichick smell blood in the water.