The excitement level for the NY Jets was at an all-time high heading into the start of training camp. Unfortunately, the news of Mekhi Becton's injury took the winds out of the sails for fans of Gang Green this week.
It is understandable to be a bit down with a core piece of the team getting hurt, and for the fans with compassion, it is very tough to see someone like Becton go down after everything he has been through over his first couple of seasons in the league.
One injury, even though it stings, should not derail hopes for the upcoming season. There are a number of options for the team to put a band-aid on the offensive tackle situation for this season. Joe Douglas can then look to address the position with a long-term view next offseason.
In the meanwhile, there are encouraging signs coming out of Jets training camp that should inspire hope during this period where it's easy for fans to think 'why does this happen to us every year?'
Zach Wilson has strung together a number of encouraging practices over the past week. His progression this year is far and away the most important development of this upcoming season.
He has reportedly been making quick decisions during camp and taking care of the ball for the most part. While highlight plays are fun, the consistency in making the right throw in a timely fashion will be one of the most important aspects for the second-year quarterback.
If Wilson is able to succeed in that area, the possible limitations from the offensive line that is now a bit banged up could be compensated for.
Ideally, the tackle situation doesn't result in the Jets quarterback running for his life, but there is also a responsibility on him to make reads fast. He appears to be improving in that area during training camp.
The NY Jets defensive line has been dominant this summer
The other dynamic at camp that stands out is the dominance of the defensive line. Each day, Jets reporters are talking about a new player on the defense getting into the backfield.
While there are two ways to look at this (is the defensive line great or is the offensive line bad?), the former is what the team is banking on. The Jets are at the top of the league in terms of money dedicated toward the defensive line, so the play must reflect that.
If the defense takes a big jump this season due to the emphasis on getting to the quarterback, this will lead to better field position for the offense and the ability to not have to be down big to start the game as the team was far too familiar with in the 2021 season.
Considering the past couple of seasons in terms of injuries, it's easy to get discouraged by the Becton news. There are still many positive signs coming from training camp that should keep Jets fans hopeful for the season to come, however.
There is a balance to expectations for this year as fans are long overdue for a winning season, but improvement within core areas such as quarterback play and the defensive line will go a long way to give a reason to believe in the direction of this organization.