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By: Billy Riccette
The Jets dealt with a mountain of injuries across the offensive line in 2022, headlined by Mekhi Becton’s knee injury during training camp and Alijah Vera-Tucker’s tricep injury after the Week 7 win over the Denver Broncos.
This offseason, the team has worked on adding depth to avoid a situation like last year where the team is scrambling for answers in the case of any potential injuries. The additions of center Joe Tippmann and offensive tackle Carter Waren via the draft as well as Billy Turner, Wes Schweitzer and Trystan Colon in free agency have helped add such depth and show the team was serious about fixing one of their major issues from last season.
Most of the starters up front seem set, or at least have a favorite to start. The one position that is absolutely up in the air is right tackle. Mekhi Becton, Max Mitchell and Billy Turner could be in a three-horse race (Happy Derby Week to those who celebrate) for the right tackle spot and to join, presumably, Duane Brown, Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern/Joe Tippmann and Vera-Tucker.
The end result is going to be the best five players. At least that’s how head coach Robert Saleh put it during his media session Friday.
“We’re going to play our best five. You can assume AVT is the best right guard and Laken and our center and both tackles, so it’s going to be a cool competition,” Saleh said when asked if Becton, whose fifth-year option was declined by the Jets, is in a competition for the right tackle spot. Saleh did also add Becton, who lost 50 pounds this offseason, is looking good.
“He looks good. He looks fantastic, really, but I don’t know, probably more of a question for him, but I don’t get into the whole business part of it. Just find a way to get better every day, but he’s attacking this offseason the right way and I’m excited for him.”
With the additions on offense, led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the health and play of the offensive line are going to be vital to the success of the Jets in 2023. If all cylinders are clicking, especially up front, the Jets could be soaring on offense and make a lot of noise. Hopefully, in their minds, all the way to Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII.
Originally posted on Jets Wire