NY Jets HC Robert Saleh issues strong statement of support for Mekhi Becton

NY Jets, Mekhi Becton
NY Jets, Mekhi Becton / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA

After NY Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton suffered a likely season-ending injury in training camp, his teammates and coaches have kept their faith in the young offensive tackle.

Becton fractured his kneecap in a Jets' practice on Monday and the early test results revealed that he may require surgery on his knee, though Becton is still seeking outside medical opinions.

This would be Becton's second surgery in the past 11 months on his right knee, and it would deal a devastating blow to the 2020 first-rounder's hopes of reviving his career.

Becton's time in New York has been crippled by injuries, the most recent of which was a dislocated right kneecap in Week 1 of 2021 that caused him to miss the rest of the season.

Becton is under contract for 2023 and could remain with the Jets if the team exercises his fifth-year option for 2024. Given his spotty injury record, however, the odds of that feel slim at this stage.

Head coach Robert Saleh recently spoke out on Becton's injury and re-instilled the Jets' faith in the young tackle despite the challenges that lie ahead.

NY Jets stand in solidarity after Mekhi Becton's heartbreaking knee injury

In a remarkable show of support, Saleh had choice words for Becton's critics and defended Becton through and through.

Becton became the target of controversy earlier this summer when he missed voluntary workouts in April due to the birth of his child, and since then, he's been blasted with every critique in the book from being labeled as a bust to disapproving comments on his weight.

"These are young men and sometimes, with social media in this world, we dehumanize these athletes in the worst way imaginable. Mekhi has walked in this building and he has taken every single punch you can get from every which way, and he shows up, and he works his tail off and he grinds every single day."

Robert Saleh

For all his initial hype, Becton has played just one game since his rookie year, and Jets fans are rightfully wondering if they will ever see him back on the field again.

The team now has a dire need for a starting right tackle with middling backup options in Chuma Edoga and Conor McDermott, the latter of whom recently suffered an ankle injury.

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Whether Becton is going through a spell of bad luck or whether he's just snakebitten with injuries, the Jets are standing behind the young tackle and may not be ready to give up on him just yet.