Mekhi Becton blames Jets for knee injury, feels “more confident” going into year 4

Jets tackle Mekhi Becton speaks to the media at the NFL football team's practice facility.
Jets tackle Mekhi Becton speaks to the media at the NFL football team’s practice facility.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

OTAs are officially underway for the New York Jets but there are two off-the-field concerns the team has to work through regarding some of their more important players. 

Quinnen Williams’ contract extension talks not yielding results is obviously the central story for Gang Green going into these practices. But head coach Robert Saleh and the Jets also have to deal with a slight problem on the offensive side of the ball. 

Former 11th overall pick Mekhi Becton has dealt with season-ending injuries in back-to-back years. After a standout rookie year where he was ranked as one of the best young tackles in football, injuries and concerns over his playing weight have held him back. While the former Louisville standout has worked all off-season to be in better football shape, he didn’t hold back any frustration with the team that drafted him due to his injury in the first place. 

“It made no sense to put me at right tackle,” Becton told Bob Glauber of Newsday. “It hurt my right knee. That’s going to be the knee that I put the most pressure on. I explained it to coaches, but no one cared.”

Becton’s frustration at being potentially forced to play right tackle has been well-known over the last few months. He has spoken publicly in recent weeks over his wanting to play left tackle. The Jets coaching staff has been blunt with their own response. 

“Go earn the left tackle,” Saleh said during rookie minicamp in early May. 

But Becton’s latest accusations against the team have brought in questions if the team is really taking his concerns to heart. In the end, the 24-year-old prospect went so far as to blame the Jets for his own injury suffered last year. 

“I got forced to play a position I don’t play, and then I was pretty much telling them I wasn’t feeling good the whole time throughout camp, and I was told I shouldn’t be complaining,” Becton continued. “I was limping through the whole practice, and I just took a step and my knee buckled and I got hurt again and had to get reconstructive surgery.”

Saleh and the Jets coaching staff have not responded to the latest accusations from their young offensive linemen but are expected to be made available to the press later this week. 

Even with the latest public dissent from Becton to the Jets coaching staff, Becton has been focused on earning his starting spot in training camp. 

“This is the most excited I’ve ever been going into training camp…I don’t want to look too far ahead, but I definitely feel way more confident than I’ve felt these past three years,” Becton said. “I feel like we’re going to win a lot of games, have a lot of fun, and just the energy and vibe with the players at the facility is uplifting.”

New York needs to first figure out how they can get their defensive standout, Quinnen Williams back into the fold with a new deal but the latest news on Becton adds another wrinkle to the Jets offseason that has been full of twists and turns. 

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