The NY Jets will be looking to make some changes to their offensive line in the future, but one player they're relying on to be an important part of the unit in 2024 is Alijah Vera-Tucker.
Vera-Tucker has missed large parts of the last two seasons due to injury, but the former first-round pick remains the team's most talented offensive lineman and is penciled into a starting role next season.
The Jets haven't decided where they plan to play Vera-Tucker in 2024, but he will be counted on as a cornerstone of the team's offense. That is, of course, if he's healthy.
Vera-Tucker spoke to reporters on Monday for the first time since the torn Achilles he suffered in October, and he provided an update of sorts on his injury rehab. It wasn't necessarily a positive update, although it wasn't a negative update either.
Alijah Vera-Tucker injury update
Vera-Tucker told reporters that doctors have yet to provide a timeline for his recovery from injury and that his status for Week 1 is still up in the air. The former USC star mentioned that his injury was not a "traditional" Achilles tear, in the sense that the tear occurred higher in his calf than the usual spot.
This could cause complications with his rehab process and potentially increase the time it takes for him to recover. That much remains to be seen, but Vera-Tucker is happy about one thing. The Jets won't be playing in Denver in 2024.
Vera-Tucker has suffered season-ending injuries in consecutive seasons, both of which came on the road in October games against the Broncos. The Jets will actually play the Broncos again in 2024, but this time, it'll be at MetLife Stadium.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh made it clear on Monday that the team plans to keep Vera-Tucker at one position next season, suggesting that the constant position switching could've contributed to his injury troubles.
A torn triceps ended Vera-Tucker's 2022 season after just seven games, while the torn Achilles cut his 2023 season short after only five. When healthy, Vera-Tucker has been the Jets' best offensive lineman, but consecutive major injuries have some concerned about his future health.
The Jets will hope to see Vera-Tucker on the field come Week 1, but there's a good chance he will miss most, if not all, of the summer and potentially some regular-season time. It would be wise for the Jets to have contingency plans.