‘I Got Forced To Play A Position I Don’t Play’ | Tackle Mekhi Becton Says New York Jets Are To Blame For His 2022 Season-Ending Knee Injury

New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton is a huge piece of the Jets offense, and how he plays will go a long way in determining just how good the new-look offense with quarterback Aaron Rodgers will fare this season. Slated to play right tackle, Becton, who was injured while playing that same position last season in training camp let it be known that he isn’t a fan of the now permanent position switch. 

To show he wants to play his normal position, left tackle, Becton who was once 380-400 pounds, has shed 50 pounds in hopes of having the opportunity to play the position he’s played since high school and mostly in college. It’s also where he made first-team All-ACC in 2019, his final year at Louisville. Becton says he’s excited to get back on the field after reconstructive knee surgery, and to get to training camp in a couple months. But he’s not happy with the Jets coaching staff, who he believes is forcing him to play a position he’s rarely played since his freshman season at Louisville.

Coming Off A 2021 Injury To His Right Knee, Team Made Him Practice AT Right Tackle

Becton still harbors some bitterness toward the coaching staff for making him play right tackle upon his return to the field in 2022 knowing he’d had a pretty significant injury to his right knee in the 2021 season opener. It was the team’s way of trying to protect Becton. But on the second day of training camp Becton suffered a season-ending knee injury. The 2021 injury cost him the rest of the season after the initial diagnosis was he’d be out four to eight weeks. The 2022 injury was looked at as being a season-ending injury from the jump, and it was. Becton told reporters that he believes the move to right tackle played a role in his injury, having just returned from an injury to the same knee.

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

All offseason there has been an echo in the air about Becton coming back from injury and how he’d handle still being a right tackle with former All-Pro Duane Brown manning the left side. From the sounds of it he isn’t too happy with it, but will attempt to work his way back to the left side, where he’s more comfortable.

“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 said. “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 have reconstructive surgery.”

Head Coach Robert Saleh Told Becton To Win The Position If He Wants It

Earlier this month Becton said in a since-deleted tweet he wants to play his natural position. In a presser the next day Saleh challenged the big man to prove he’s the best man for the job with this tweet. 

From the sound of it, Becton intends to do just that, although he isn’t a fan of the Jets brass. But Becton isn’t the only current or former Jets player to call out the regime under GM Joe Douglas. Former running back Ty Johnson, wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, and offensive lineman Kelecho Osemele all have real complaints about how the team handled them while injured or returning from injury. 

Jets are expected to make a huge jump with Rodgers under center, but they need to figure out what’s going on with Becton, as his ability to be a dominant run and pass blocker is huge for this team, and especially in the ultra-tough and competitive AFC. 

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