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Mekhi Becton’s latest injury puts serious pressure on New York Jets to sign Duane Brown

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Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets’ right tackle Mekhi Becton may have suffered a major setback at practice on Monday that puts the organization in a tough spot, to where signing Pro Bowler Duane Brown may become a necessity instead of a luxury.

On Monday morning, ESPN Jets insider Rich Cimini reported that Becton — a player returning from season-ending knee surgery — sustained an injury to his surgically repaired limb early in the team’s practice today.

“On the second play of practice, Mekhi Becton suffers apparent injury to surgically repaired right knee and limps off to the locker room. He’s limping badly.”

rich Cimini report on Becton injury

Following the tweet, Cimini seemed to suggest that there were signs of an ongoing issue with Becton’s knee in recent days. “Becton had been fussing with his knee earlier during OL drills. Didn’t seem right, limping through light drills. Put on a brace last Friday. Now he’s in the locker room.”

Related: New York Jets training camp 2022: Everything you need to know

The injury is a major concern for the Jets. The 2020 first-round pick was already in the process of switching from left tackle to right after an underwhelming rookie season. The team’s depth at both tackle spots is not strong — like most teams — and it has made the news of Duane Brown’s visit last week take on an all-new importance.

Duane Brown now has all the leverage in contract discussions with New York Jets

new york jets
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, five-time Pro Bowler Duane Brown was in New York for a meeting with Jets officials to see if he might be a fit for the organization’s 2022 roster. The conversations were more exploratory and no deal was made between the two sides, however, Jets brass reportedly have significant interest in the 14-year veteran.

The 2021 Pro Bowler is by far the best offensive tackle and lineman left on the free agent market, which already gave him some leverage in any negotiation. Now, with the Jets’ situation at tackle on the verge of disaster, general manager Joe Douglas may now have to pony up and pay for Brown as a high-level safety valve, even if Becton’s injury isn’t serious.

As training camp and preseason games get underway, Brown is highly unlikely to be available much longer. He is a left tackle first and foremost, which is a seriously important position for any offense. Especially one that is trying to take some major steps forward in the development of second-year quarterback Zach Wilson.

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