The NY Jets finally get some conclusive news on injured left tackle Mekhi Becton, and it's exactly as they expected. Becton is essentially done for the 2021 season, according to head coach Robert Saleh in a recent interview.
The 2020 first-round pick suffered a knee injury in the Jets' season opener against the Carolina Panthers and has been sidelined ever since. After Becton underwent knee surgery, the timeline for his recovery was estimated to be six to eight weeks, but 14 weeks later, Becton still isn't healthy enough.
Now, the team has all but ruled him out for rest of the year.
Saleh has had to field questions about Becton's status week after week, and he recently gave the most definitive update on the tackle, saying Becton won't be on the field again this season "barring a miracle."
NY Jets essentially rule Mekhi Becton out for the rest of 2021 season
The Louisville product showed plenty of potential as a rookie last year but continually battled injuries. In spring of 2021, Becton missed OTAs due to a foot injury and reportedly struggled at times in training camp.
Injuries threaten to derail Becton's career as they have for so many other youngsters in the league, but Saleh isn't giving up on Becton yet.
Many critics have quickly labeled Becton as an "injury-prone" player given his history so far. Saleh, though, mostly blames the circumstances on "bad luck."
"I’m not going to label [Becton] injury-prone, I’m not going to do any of that stuff. We had Jimmie Ward in San Francisco who was labeled injury-prone, and he couldn’t stay healthy, but he’s had a string now of a couple of years where he’s been healthy and he’s an All-Pro player. So, I never look at a player from an injury standpoint like, sometimes it’s a string of bad luck. "- Robert Saleh
Whatever Becton's issues may be, the sooner they are resolved, the better. Saleh touched upon the importance of Becton entering 2022 in the healthiest shape possible.
"For Mekhi, this is going to be a big offseason for him in terms of getting his body right, getting his mind right, getting himself ready to play as quickly as possible so he can have a full set of OTAs, which he’s never had, a full training camp, which he really has never had, and get himself into the season so he can dominate the way we all know he can."- Robert Saleh
In Becton's place, George Fant has shined, and depending on how well Becton plays in his return, Fant could make a case to be the team's left tackle in 2022.
All bets are off when it comes to predicting players' rebounds from injuries, though Saleh remains confident that Becton will be "ready to roll" next season.
There's no reason for Becton to play in the Jets' final two games anyway as New York faces potential blowout games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills.
Next year could tell a different story, but Saleh, the team, and the fans will just have to wait until Mekhi Becton is ready to compete at a high level again.