The NY Jets have dealt with an ever-changing cycle of offensive tackles over the first month of the 2022 season, and that cyclical rotation will likely continue this Sunday with the expected return of left tackle Duane Brown.
Brown spoke to reporters on Friday ahead of the Jets' Week 5 divisional clash with the Miami Dolphins and he indicated that he's "good to go" for Sunday's game.
The Jets placed Brown on the injured reserve with a shoulder injury prior to Week 1, an injury that could have required season-ending surgery. Instead, Brown opted to rehab the injury and set his sights on a midseason return.
Brown was officially designated to return from the injured reserve this week opening up a 21-day window for him to be activated to the 53-man roster. Evidently, he's not going to need the full three weeks.
Duane Brown expects to play for the NY Jets in Week 5
The Jets signed Brown to a two-year, $22 million contract in August following a season-ending injury suffered by Mekhi Becton. Brown was expected to step in as the day-one starting left tackle only for his shoulder injury to land him on IR.
Since Brown's injury, the Jets have lost two more offensive tackles to injury in George Fant and rookie standout Max Mitchell. The team was forced to start Alijah Vera-Tucker at left tackle this week as the second-year guard played tackle for the first time in his NFL career.
Now with Brown returning and Mitchell sidelined, it's unclear what the plan will be for the right tackle position. Assuming Brown does play on Sunday, the 37-year-old veteran will slide into the starting left tackle role in his Jets debut.
The Jets could move Vera-Tucker over to right tackle, a position he hasn't played before at either the collegiate or NFL level. Other options include Conor McDermott, who stepped in following Mitchell's injury on Sunday, or recent additions Cedric Ogbuehi and Mike Remmers.
The Jets have options, but most importantly, Duane Brown should be back this Sunday. That's good news for a Jets team that has encountered its share of misfortune at the offensive tackle positions.