Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton is down after appearing to re-injury his right knee.


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New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton left practice early Monday after injuring his surgically repaired right knee.

Becton, entering his third NFL season, is being evaluated and the team is awaiting MRI results.

The 6-foot-7 lineman was run-blocking at right tackle on the second play of the team’s drills when he landed on the grass and immediately grabbed his knee. The 2020 first-round draft pick limped for a few moments before trying to get up and needed help from trainers to walk off the field.

He took off his pads and finally walked very excitedly on his own to the locker room with a noticeable limp.

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“The only thing I’ve got is that it’s consistent and it looks good,” coach Robert Saleh said. “It’s preliminary, obviously. We’re going to look into it for precautionary reasons. But right now, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but knock on wood, hopefully it stays that way.”

If Becton is forced to miss any significant time, it will be a major setback for a player in the midst of adjusting to a position change. Becton entered his first two NFL seasons as the starter at left tackle, but suffered right kneecap and cartilage damage in last year’s opener at Carolina. He missed the rest of the season and George Fant slipped from right tackle and played well in Becton’s place.

New York Jets guard Mekhi Becton participates in drills during the NFL football team's training camp at Florham Park, NJ, Thursday, July 28, 2022.  On Monday, Becton went down with a knee injury.

New York Jets guard Mekhi Becton participates in drills during the NFL football team’s training camp at Florham Park, NJ, Thursday, July 28, 2022. On Monday, Becton went down with a knee injury.
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Entering training camp, Saleh announced that Fant would retain the starting position at left tackle and Becton would move to right tackle. Becton appeared to be making strides at right tackle in recent practices, but began wearing a brace on his right knee late last week. He called Saleh a “pitch count” during the team’s scrimmage at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night and was ejected before practice ended.

During Monday’s positional drills, Becton was seen limping slightly and adjusting a brace on his knee before participating in team drills.

Becton, whose weight has been a hot topic during his brief NFL career, played in just 15 games for the Jets. ESPN reported that he ballooned to nearly 400 pounds last season, but Becton reported to camp significantly leaner than he was at minicamp in June.

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The Jets’ depth at offensive tackle was already a question mark before Becton’s latest injury, especially after backup Connor McDermott went down with a lower ankle injury in the scrimmage. Saleh said McDermott should be sidelined for a week or two, but the Jets have shown interest in free agent offensive tackle Duane Brown.

The former Seahawks and Texans veteran, a five-time Pro Bowl pick who turns 37 on Aug. 30, met with the Jets over the weekend and attended the team’s scrimmage. Still, Saleh insisted the Jets still like their depth chart at tackle and aren’t desperate to add veterans as backups.

New York Jets tackle Mekhi Becton speaks to the media at the NFL football team's practice facility on July 27, 2022 in Florham Park, NJ.

New York Jets tackle Mekhi Becton speaks to the media at the NFL football team’s practice facility on July 27, 2022 in Florham Park, NJ.
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Chuma Edoga has filled in for Fant at left tackle this summer, and the Jets have Derrick Kelly, Grant Hermans and April’s fourth-rounder Max Mitchell at the offensive tackle spots.

“Getting a guy like Duane Brown is kind of spoiled in a sense,” Saleh said. “I think we have such great talent at one position. But we have faith in our backup offensive linemen. Anytime you get injured and you have to test your depth, it’s scary water. But at the same time, it’s time, that’s why we’ve done all this work and to prepare these guys to take those spots. We will try our best to try.

“So, it doesn’t create panic in my mind.”

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Notes: CB DJ Reid, RB Ty Johnson and DE Vinny Curry all sat out practice with hamstring ailments. … Saleh said the starters on offense and defense will play about a quarter each in New York’s preseason opener Friday night in Philadelphia.



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