Mekhi Becton, New York Jets
Mekhi Becton, New York Jets, Getty Images

Becton’s injury is to his surgically repaired right knee, but it is a separate issue

The New York Jets are braced for the worst following Mekhi Becton‘s MRI on Monday afternoon.

Becton came up limping heavily during practice and had to be helped off the field. Head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas were seen in deep conversation moments later.

After practice ended on Monday, Saleh sounded optimistic that Becton had avoided a serious injury. “As of now, it doesn’t seem like it’s a big deal, but knock on wood,” the coach responded to a question about Becton, proceeding to do just that. He said that the knee was stable, meaning that the doctors were hopeful that there was no structural damage.

However, in the evening, reports started to surface that Becton’s injury was much worse than originally thought. The news came in drips and drabs as if the Jets beat was preparing fans for the worst and breaking the news slowly.

Connor Hughes followed up to gradually reveal that the team was “preparing for the worst”:

Later, Hughes reported that the injury was to the patella, which is the kneecap.

Fans may recall that Victor Cruz’s initial injury that sent his career into a downslide was a tear of his patellar tendon. It appears that Becton fractured the patella itself.

A little later, Hughes tweeted what Jets fans had already surmised.

After all of the drama surrounding Becton this offseason and training camp, it appears that the worst has come to pass. From missing the entire 2021 season to speculation about his weight to minor scrums with the media, it has certainly been an eventful ride for Mekhi.

Unfortunately, it seems that he may not get the opportunity to make the media eat their words. In fact, it’s likely that much will be said and written about Becton’s weight in relation to his second consecutive crushing knee injury.

Joe Douglas is left with an immediate quandary at tackle. Duane Brown, who visited with the team over the weekend, is the obvious candidate. Other free-agent options are Eric Fisher, Darryl Williams, and ex-Jet Brandon Shell. Douglas can also check in on Teven Jenkins, the 2021 second-round pick from the Bears who is on the trading block.

The team can still get its offensive line on track to protect quarterback Zach Wilson and allow the running game to take off. This is just not the way they wanted things to go down.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.
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rex
rex
1 month ago

Told y’all he couldn’t be relied upon

rex
rex
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

More like insanity. An athlete with well-documented weight issues and injury prone since entering into the NFL, it was ludicrous for anyone to assume year 3 would be any different from his previous two. It’s even more delusional that it was the Jets and Jets fans who thought the injury bug, which had plagued them since Todd Bowles was HC, was somehow eliminated through sheer excitement for the upcoming season. This is what happens when history is ignored in favor of arrogance. The Jets have been left scrambling and I now expect more of the same from Wilson this season.

rex
rex
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

With George Fant set to compete against an infinitely more talented group of pass rushers this season as compared to the pedestrians he faced last year, I find it overly optimistic to assume that Fant will be a world-beater. And I expect his deficiencies to expose him right out of the gate. Becton hasn’t been the only Jets Tackle to get schooled by a Jets pass rusher this summer and none of the Jets Edges come with the resume of the DEs/OLBs the Jets will face this season. So, I’m not very confident Wilson will see many clean pockets in 2022. This line was far from being complete before the draft and it’s since taken a step back. If today’s practice was any indication, Zach Wilson could very well be on IR by week 4/5. Hell, this OL can get Wilson killed on Friday if they’re not careful.

rex
rex
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

Have to disagree here. Fant is still an unknown commodity as he looked really great against pedestrians, but has yet to face the gauntlet that lies in wait this season. As such, he still MUST prove that he isn’t a liability. McGovern is serviceable at best. Tomlinson is the most accomplished lineman, but he could be hard pressed to make the pro bowl this year. AVT is the most promising player on the line, but it’s still a question as to what kind and how big of a leap he can make in his sophomore season. And Becton has shown to be what Becton is. And most critically, they all have yet to play a single, meaningful down together. From my perspective, all of those factors signify that the Jets’ offensive line is far from a finished product (i.e. complete). That’s not to say that they will not or cannot establish themselves over the course of the season, but losing Becton with the prior understanding that his weight, which he struggles with, contributed to a season lost to injury and not having a competent contingency plan for your developing, second year QB wasn’t even penny-wise, forget pound foolish.

rex
rex
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

Still disagree. They are NOT A FINISHED PRODUCT, ergo they are NOT complete and nor were they when Becton was healthy. Individually, their accomplishments or lack thereof are not those of the Jets’ current OL as a whole. So, to assume the Jets OL a finished product is infinitely more egregious than to imply that the OL is still VERY much a work in progress. 8 sacks on the day after ONE out of 5 starters goes down speaks to the legitimacy of the line being far from a complete unit. If the season started tomorrow, which assessment would be closer to being correct? That the Jets’ OL is primed and ready right now to take on the league’s better DLs or that they still have A LONG WAY TO GO before anyone can say with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that the Jets’ OL is a finished product ready to withstand ANYTHING ANY TEAM might throw at them? From my vantage point, I would be quite wary of the Jets’ OL facing a top 15 DL if they were to play a game tomorrow.

rex
rex
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

I hear what you’re saying, but the phraseology “work in progress” is practically a definition for “incomplete.” If your team’s project is a “work in progress,” your team’s project is currently deemed to be “incomplete.” That every man has a position on the OL is inconsequential as those men can be any men. What it boils down to is: how formidable are they TOGETHER. Individual talents do not an offensive line make. It’s the timing and combination of those talents in harmony that denote the arrival of a bona-fide offensive line. As of today, the Jets’ O-line is unquestionably not that. This is what I mean by “far from complete”. They are all part of a unit that has yet to function as a single unit. Hopefully, at some point this season, if not before training camp ends, they’ll achieve that.

DFargas
DFargas
1 month ago
Reply to  rex

I have to wonder a little about whether the Jets coaching staff may be partly at fault, as in coaching malpractice. The reports say Becton was limping mildly and favoring his previously injured leg before he got this last injury. If you know he’s out of shape, his knee is sore, and he’s getting killed by the DL, maybe you tell him to sit out a couple, or maybe even go back to sideline exercises. I just get this feeling the staff might have been a little frustrated and fed up with coddling him when in medical point of fact, he actually still needed to be coddled to prevent injury even though they were sick of doing that. Maybe they just got impatient, and now this. Just sayin…

rex
rex
1 month ago
Reply to  DFargas

It’s possible. But at the same time, Becton had at least 9 months to come into camp under 350lbs. Granted, he was not physically able to workout, but his diet plan was clearly an afterthought. His number one priority the minute he was shut down for 2021 should have been to alter his caloric intake. But the only point this offseason that Becton didn’t look like beached whale was when he showed up for training camp. Carrying who knows how much weight, particularity after knee surgery, could not have been beneficial to his healing and compounding that with physical exertion might’ve been the last straw for that surgically repaired knee. How much is the CS at fault? I can’t say. The competitive nature of elite athletes can sometimes fuel the pride before the fall. It could just as easily be the case that Becton did his best to suck it up and soldier on thinking he can condition out the kinks.

DFargas
DFargas
1 month ago
Reply to  rex

When I made my comment I had just heard former player Tiki Barber say on the radio that injuries come when you’re off balance, and you’re off balance when you’re out of shape. The thing with a guy like Becton is that its 400 pounds worth of unbalance. Ironically, his very size is what makes him vulnerable, and you just have to wonder whether the CS made the right decisions here.

rex
rex
1 month ago
Reply to  DFargas

If team physicians told the CS he was good to go and the player tells the CS he can go, what’s the CS supposed to do? Assume team physicians are wrong and the player is lying? When the brace came on, did Becton voice his concerns about his knee beyond “experiencing discomfort”? Or did his pride as an elite athlete help convince himself that he could work through it so that he could “prove his doubters wrong”? I doubt any CS willingly exposes any of their players to potential injury, but I also don’t doubt that most coaching staffs would look down upon any player whose availability was always a question mark. And perhaps it’s that mentality that urged Becton to give it a go when maybe a modicum of reservation would’ve behooved his return to the field.

rex
rex
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

That’s the thing with elite athletes. The limitations are blurred because they’re so physically gifted. The mentality is always can do without question.

Barney Miller
Barney Miller
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

Great back & forth Rivka. I love that you don’t shy away from tough questions. This last point you made is a really interesting one. Mechi should have taken himself out during warms ups. I agree. In this way, I slightly blame this intense NY Jets fanbase. The fact that he responded with that tee shirt showed that the criticism was unfortunately getting to him. If he took himself out for it being a little sore before the real full injury, then everyone would be like “fat, lazy” etc. Don’t know if I’m being clear, but the harshness of Jets social media fans may have made him push himself too far. That’s still mostly his fault, but maybe like Coach Saleh said, we have to stop dehumanizing these people. I really hope he heals up.

Barney Miller
Barney Miller
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

Yup. And the problem with listening to the online narrative (which is negative about all celebrity usually) is that you paint yourself in a corner. They call him names if he takes himself out. And now that he’s hurt again, those same people are saying “He doesn’t take care of his body!”. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. This is why I’m glad to hear that Zach turns off social media. If I were a coach I’d tell them all to do that.

maladymac
maladymac
1 month ago

All the raw talent , coupled with ZERO work ethic. All he does is talk about proving the doubters wrong. Guess what Mekhi your too fat to even stay on the field. Just shut your mouth and go away, grow up and find someone to teach you how to become a man.

maladymac
maladymac
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

Him being overweight, did not help at all. In my opinion, he is a waste of a pick, and we need to cut ties with him. He keeps saying what he is going to do, and can’t even stay in the lineup. What a waste of talent.

DFargas
DFargas
1 month ago

I’m surprised to see Brandon Shell is available. He’s an experienced right tackle (doesn’t need to adjust) and I have a friend in Seattle who said the Seahawks liked him. He had a good, solid PFF score of 67 for 2021. The Jets should snap him up.

Jets71
Jets71
1 month ago
Reply to  DFargas

I saw Nania had that too. I kind of like him as an option. I know he’s got injury problems too but he’s young enough and has been in NY. I wonder how he fits in the Jets’ scheme?

Barney Miller
Barney Miller
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

Is Shell’s ranking hire than Edoga or McDermott?