NY Jets head coach Robert Saleh spoke to the media on Friday and told reporters that left tackle Duane Brown would not play in the team's Week 1 season opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
Brown has been sidelined all week with a shoulder injury and he was once again listed as a "DNP" for Friday's practice. To make matters worse, the indication appears to be that Brown may have suffered a serious injury.
Saleh suggested that the injured reserve is very much in play for Brown as the team will continue to evaluate his situation. This is, of course, a nightmare scenario for the Jets who already lost Mekhi Becton for the season last month.
Brown was signed to be Becton's de-facto replacement. Now, the Jets may be forced to operate without both for an extended period of time.
The Jets announced that George Fant would move back to left tackle for the time being while rookie fourth-round pick Max Mitchell makes his NFL debut as the team's starting right tackle.
The NY Jets can't afford to be without Duane Brown for an extended period of time
The Jets bolstered the depth on their roster in a number of ways this offseason, but one position that was left rather barren was offensive tackle. The team had opportunities to address their tackle depth dating back to March. Instead, their approach has been rather misguided.
It's impossible to blame the Jets for losing two starting left tackles within the span of a month. It's an unfortunate situation entirely, but the team could have done more to avoid going into the season with Conor McDermott and Mitchell as their primary backups.
Nonetheless, the Jets are in rough shape if Brown is forced to miss numerous games. Mitchell is an unproven rookie who struggled at times this summer — relying on him to start a significant number of games this season isn't ideal.
The Jets are preparing for the worst with Brown and could continue to explore other options to add another tackle to their roster. Aside from McDermott and Mitchell, the Jets have Grant Hermanns and Eric Smith on the practice squad.
The Duane Brown injury is very unfortunate news for the Jets. All we can do now is hope for the best.