New York Jets offensive tackle, Mekhi Becton, has come forward to voice his frustration and anger at the team’s handling of his injury, holding them responsible for his devastating knee injury that resulted in reconstructive surgery, ending his 2021 season.
In an exclusive interview with Newsday’s Bob Glauber, Becton expressed his discontent with the Jets’ decision to play him out of position, despite his warnings about not feeling fit for the role. He revealed, “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. Go out there and do it. I was limping throughout the whole practice, and I just took a step, and my knee buckled, and I got hurt again and had to get reconstructive surgery.”
The 6-foot-7 powerhouse also criticized the team’s decision to shift him to the right tackle position, which he believed aggravated his already vulnerable right knee. “I hurt my right knee,” he stated, “That’s going to be the knee that I put the most pressure on while backpedaling in pass protection. I explained it [to the coaches], but no one cared.”
Becton’s injury ordeal dates back to the 2021 season, where he was plagued by knee troubles and was limited to just one game on the field. Despite his injury history, the Jets surprisingly announced their decision to move him to the right side of the offensive line for the 2022 season, favoring George Fant in his place.
As if the frustrating injury and positional changes weren’t enough, the Jets’ decision to decline Becton’s fifth-year option further added to his dismay. The option would have paid him a significant sum of $13.6 million in 2024, but the team’s lack of confidence in his ability to stay healthy led to the unsurprising rejection.
Becton’s candid revelation has put the spotlight back on the New York Jets’ handling of player injuries and the team’s overall management. The young offensive tackle’s grievances shed light on how some players might feel sidelined and ignored when voicing concerns about their health and well-being.
The Jets organization has not yet responded to Becton’s statements, but the revelations are likely to ignite debates within the football community about the responsibility teams bear towards their players’ health and safety.
The 23-year-old Mekhi Becton had shown immense promise in his rookie season, displaying exceptional skills and potential that made him a fan favorite. However, constant injuries have hindered his progress and raised questions about his long-term viability as a star player in the league.
While the Jets are making strategic decisions for the future of the franchise, it is essential not to overlook the human aspect of the game. The physical toll on players and their mental state when facing injuries cannot be underestimated.
As the NFL gears up for the upcoming season, the spotlight will remain on how teams handle player injuries, rehabilitation, and support systems. Mekhi Becton’s story serves as a stark reminder that players are more than just assets on the field; they are human beings whose well-being should be at the forefront of every decision.
Only time will tell how the Jets and the league, in general, respond to this eye-opening interview and what measures they take to ensure players’ health and concerns are given the attention they deserve. As for Mekhi Becton, his road to recovery and eventual return to the field will be closely monitored by fans and analysts alike, hoping to witness the resurgence of the talented offensive tackle once more.