The NY Jets and Mekhi Becton may have caught a break
In an incident that perhaps best defined the fortunes of this star-crossed franchise, New York Jets tackle Mekhi Becton left Sunday’s season opener against the Carolina Panthers with an injury that required the medical cart to take him back to the locker room.
The Jets’ top pick from the 2020 NFL draft did not return to the game, eventually won by the Panthers in a 19-14 final.
Fortunately, however, after looking incredibly serious—with teammates kneeling alongside the big man as he remained down on the turf—Becton and the Jets may have caught a break.
A report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reveals that Becton’s initial diagnosis is that of an MCL sprain. The blocker will undergo an MRI to confirm.
Based on the initial tests, #Jets LT Mekhi Becton appeared to suffer an MCL sprain, source said. He’ll have an MRI to confirm the diagnosis but that is the initial word. Would be good news considering the other possibilities.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 12, 2021
He was injured on the Jets’ first scoring play, a 23-yard Zach Wilson pass to Corey Davis, the respective first touchdown for each newcomer.
A battle between Greg Van Roten and Panthers defender Daviyon Nixon lingered into Becton’s area and the pair plowed into Becton’s knee. The sophomore blocker was down on the field for several minutes, surrounded by coaches, trainers and players.
He was able to leave the field with some assistance, although he did so slowly. George Fant took over the left tackle while Morgan Moses fulfilled Fant’s regular duties on the right.
Becton wasn’t the only one who left Sunday’s game for medical reasons. Braden Mann’s knee injury forced Matt Ammendola to handle both the kicking and punting duties while Del’Shawn Phillips earned a team-best 12 tackles after replacing rookie linebacker Jamien Sherwood.
Fellow linebacker Blake Cashman dealt with a hamstring issue while safety Lamarcus Joyner left with an elbow injury.
The Jets (0-1) return to action next Sunday at home against the New England Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags