FLORHAM PARK, NJ – An MRI examination of Mekhi BectonA source told ESPN on Monday night his right knee was injured more severely than initially anticipated, raising concerns that New York Jets‘start processing right can be set aside indefinitely.
The 2020 first-round draft player injured his knee which required season-ending surgery in September, but this was described as a “different” injury, the source said. Becton will have additional tests on Tuesday to confirm the diagnosis, but the Jets’ level of concern grew after receiving the MRI results. One source said the assumption is that Becton, 23, will miss significant time.
A source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Becton had an injury to his kneecap (patella).
Becton appeared to have hurt his knee during an early O-line drill on Monday morning. He’s limping, but he’s still training. A few minutes later, in the second round of 11v11, Becton fell behind after being attacked by the late defence. John Franklin-Myers. Becton’s right foot appears to be entangled in the grass, perhaps causing his knee to drop awkwardly.
Becton removed the shoulder pads and hobbled immediately into the locker room with members of the coaching staff.
He started wearing a knee brace on Friday, a sign that he may have begun to experience discomfort. One source said it was nothing more than a typical training camp sting.
After Monday’s training session, coach Robert Saleh was cautiously optimistic, saying preliminary tests showed no serious injuries. Based on what he was told by the doctors, he said the knee was “stable” and an MRI was precautionary.
“At the moment, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but – knock on wood – hopefully that’s still true,” Saleh said.
For Becton, who has a history of trauma and conditioning problems, any lost moment can be significant. Late on Monday, the Jets signed a good travel veteran Caleb Benenoch (23 career start) with a one-year contract. They are still interested in free agent settlement Duane Browna five-time Pro Bowl selection visited them over the weekend.
Becton injured his right knee in the opening match of the 2021 season and never played again, although the team initially called it a four- to six-week return from surgery.
With Becton’s latest injury – and with a backup swing Conor McDermott sidelined for a week to two with a sprained ankle – it feels even more urgent to add an experienced tackle. Start processing on the left George Fant is also returning from knee surgery, although he is healthy and working out.
Saleh downplayed the team’s interest in Brown, saying the Jets had “a lot of great talent” in the tackle and that Brown would be a luxury.
“It didn’t create panic in my mind at all,” Saleh said. “A guy like Duane is a bonus.”
But that was before the MRI results.
Becton started just 14 of 33 games in two seasons, six of which he failed to finish due to various injuries. His weight became a major storyline last season, when he hit about 400 pounds while recovering from surgery.
He was overweight at the June minicamp competition, which disappointed the organization, but he trained at the facility before camping and reported in acceptable condition. Saleh praises Becton for building strength through his first nine practices as he returns to football training.
Now it can be a challenge if he has to miss the time.
“We’ll see if he takes some time off,” Saleh said. “Obviously you care about people. …You just don’t want to fall into a conditional deficit. He’s a big man. He’s been working his tail, and he was Do all he is asked to do. Hopefully, he tests as well as we think he will and he can continue on this track. I think he will be fine.”
As night fell, that optimism faded.