When NY Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton left Monday's practice early with a knee injury, many initially feared the worst. However, an update from head coach Robert Saleh shortly after practice provided a sense of optimism.
Saleh told reporters that he believed Becton "would be fine" and the team initially was under the belief that there was no structural damage. Then the test results came back.
The results revealed that Becton had suffered a small fracture in his kneecap that could require season-ending surgery. The Jets are conducting most tests on Tuesday, but any optimism regarding his injury has disappeared.
The team is now preparing for the worst, and as per SNY's Connor Hughes, there is "legitimate fear" that Becton's 2022 season is over before it ever even started.
The NY Jets seem likely to be without Mekhi Becton again in 2022
The 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Becton put together a promising rookie campaign that had many labeling him as one of the best young offensive linemen in the NFL. Unfortunately, his career since that point has been completely derailed by injuries.
Becton was forced to miss all but one game in 2021 after suffering a knee injury in Week 1 — an injury that was initially believed to only keep him sidelined for 4-8 weeks.
In a cruel twist of fate, Becton's latest injury is to the same knee that he injured last season and a similar incorrect initial diagnosis was given. The Jets' initial belief that Becton would be "fine" was seemingly very, very misguided.
With Becton expected to miss considerable time, the Jets' options at offensive tackle aren't exactly encouraging. Conor McDermott (ankle), Chuma Edoga, and rookie Max Mitchell are the only other viable tackles on the roster at the moment.
The Jets have remained in contact with veteran Duane Brown who took an official physical for the team on Monday. His signing may no longer be a luxury at this point — it's become a necessity.
As for Becton, it's hard to say what the future holds for the former first-round pick. We may very well have seen the last of Becton in a Jets uniform, and his NFL future remains unclear as well.
Injuries suck. They suck even more when they derail a man's dreams and livelihood. Here's to wishing Mekhi Becton all the best, whether his future lies with the Jets or elsewhere.