The NY Jets had high hopes for Mekhi Becton entering the 2022 season. After a year rehabbing from a season-ending knee injury, Becton looked to return to full strength this season and was hoping to re-establish himself as a future building block of the offense.
Unfortunately, he never really had the opportunity to do so.
Becton suffered a fractured kneecap during training camp in early August and was ruled out for the season shortly thereafter. His future with the organization is as contentious as it's ever been, but the Jets provided a positive injury update on Tuesday.
General manager Joe Douglas spoke to the media on Tuesday and revealed that the Jets were "optimistic" that Becton would be able to return to full strength by OTAs next season. That means the team expects him to be on the field come next May/June.
"[Becton's] focus is on coming back next year in the best shape he can be and as healthy as he can be. We feel really optimistic that he's going to be full strength for OTAs.""- Joe Douglas
What does the future hold for Mekhi Becton and the NY Jets?
The 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Becton started 13 games as a rookie and looked well on his way to establishing himself as one of the best young offensive tackles in the league.
A pre-season poll of 50+ NFL coaches, executives, players, etc. even ranked Becton as the sixth-best offensive tackle in football entering the 2021 season. His stock was at an all-time high.
Unfortunately, his career has been torpedoed since then due to multiple long-term injuries. From a foot injury to numerous knee injuries, Becton has now played just one game over the last two seasons.
At just 23 years old and with his talent, there might still be hope for the former first-round pick, but it's hard for the Jets to rely on him given his unstable availability in recent years.
As for his future with the organization, that remains to be seen. The Jets have no shortage of tackle options on their roster in Duane Brown, George Fant, Max Mitchell, and even Alijah Vera-Tucker.
Becton is under contract at least through next season so he should be on the Jets' roster barring a trade, but it's hard to imagine the team will rely on him as a starter entering the 2023 season.
Nonetheless, it's encouraging to hear that there have been no setbacks in his recovery this time around. The Jets believe that Becton will be full-go come the start of OTAs in May.