The NY Jets have dealt with an unprecedented string of offensive line injuries this season, and amongst those lost to injury over the course of the last few months was starting center Connor McGovern.
McGovern suffered a knee injury in the team's Week 8 win over the New York Giants and was subsequently placed on the injured reserve. There was some initial optimism that McGovern could return at some point this season, but that won't be the case.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters on Monday that McGovern had undergone season-ending surgery and will miss the remainder of the year. There will be no midseason return for the veteran center.
Given that McGovern is set to be a free agent at the end of the season, there's a very good chance that he won't be back in 2024. This could be it for McGovern's Jets career.
Connor McGovern may have played his final game with the NY Jets
The Jets initially signed McGovern to a three-year, $27 million prior to the start of the 2020 season. While his first season with the Jets wasn't particularly great, McGovern bounced back with a pair of quality campaigns after that.
While the Jets drafted his eventual replacement, Joe Tippmann, in the second round of this year's draft, they still opted to bring McGovern back on a cheap one-year deal this spring.
McGovern won the starting job in camp and started the first seven games of the year prior to his injury. With Tippmann impressing in his place, it's hard to imagine the Jets will bring McGovern back — at least in a starting role — in 2024.
McGovern is just one of the many offensive linemen the Jets have lost to injury this season. The likes of Alijah Vera-Tucker, Tippmann, Duane Brown, Wes Schweitzer, Mekhi Becton, Max Mitchell, and others have all missed time with injuries.
In fact, the Jets have started 13 different offensive linemen in at least one game this season. They haven't played the same starting five in consecutive games since Weeks 4 and 5. It's Week 15 now.
The offensive line injuries continued this past week when both Tippmann and Mitchell exited midgame. Tippmann returned, but Mitchell, who was starting in place of the injured Carter Warren, did not.
The Jets will move forward with Tippmann as their starting center, hopefully for the foreseeable future, but McGovern held his own as a starter for close to half a decade. He deserves some recognition for his years of service, even if his Jets career might end on a sour note.