For a second straight year, a win in Denver has come at a major cost for the New York Jets.
After losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the season due to a torn Achilles in Week 1, the Jets announced that Alijah Vera-Tucker suffered a torn Achilles on his own in Sunday’s win. Vera-Ticker suffered the injury late in the game and did not return after playing for a play. There was some belief within the organization that AVT may have only suffered a calf injury, but the MRI Monday confirmed the team’s worst fears.
It’s the second straight year where AVT has been lost for the year on the field in Denver.
There hasn’t been a more versatile offensive lineman in the NFL than AVT. New York moved him to right tackle after injuries along the offensive line forced him to move from his regular guard position. His 70.5 Pro Football Focus grade at the tackle position is elite and a big reason why New York has saved their season going into a Week 6 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In Vera-Tucker’s place, the Jets could go in several different directions. Free agent tackles like La’el Collins could be available to jump in midway through the year. The most likely candidate though to replace AVT at this point is backup tackle Max Mitchell.
“I thought he did a decent job yesterday…he’s going to give you everything he’s got. He’s someone we have full faith in,” Saleh said Monday afternoon.
Taken in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Mitchell played well in five starts last season. He struggled in training camp though and lost a starter job to both Mekhi Becton and Vera-Tucker. He’s expected to be the starter until Vera-Tucker returns from his Achilles injury.