The NY Jets still have high hopes for young offensive tackle Mekhi Becton even after an injury-riddled 2021 season. However, it's clear that his recovery from said injury hasn't gone according to plan.
Despite being given an initial timeframe of 4-8 to recover, Becton was forced to miss the remainder of the year, rendering his sophomore NFL season a dud. The Jets still hope to see a healthy and motivated Becton return to the field in 2022.
That said, it's unclear when that might be.
Head coach Robert Saleh spoke to the media on Monday and insisted that the team was excited about Becton's return. However, when asked if Becton would be cleared for OTAs, he responded with a less-than-encouraging "I'm not sure about that one yet."
The NY Jets hope to see a healthy Mekhi Becton in 2022
Saleh was complimentary of Becton insisting that he's been "working his tail off" this offseason, and anyone who's followed Becton's social media feeds should be aware of the work he's been putting in as well.
Saleh pointed to Becton's size and how the recovery timetable for a player of his stature is more complicated than your average player.
The Jets aren't rushing things with Becton, and despite Saleh's noncommittal response, there isn't any additional reason to be concerned now than there was, say, a week ago. Nothing has changed in regard to Becton.
Still, it goes without saying that the Jets aren't sold on his long-term future. They continue to flirt with the idea of drafting an offensive tackle early in the 2022 NFL Draft which would certainly raise questions about Becton's future with the organization.
They've also admitted that Becton will have to earn the starting left tackle job this summer and all signs point to George Fant being the favorite in that competition.
Becton's stock has fallen, but at just 22-years-old, the sky is still the limit for the former 11th overall pick. The best way to shut up the critics? Come back healthy and pick up where he left off following his promising rookie campaign.
Perhaps that's easier said than done, but the Jets know he's capable of it. All eyes will be on Mekhi Becton this summer as he'll look to silence his doubters and live up to his enormous potential.