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Jets hoping Mekhi Becton's knee injury isn't serious

Mekhi Becton #77 of the Jets is helped

Mekhi Becton #77 of the Jets is helped off the field after being injured during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Credit: Getty Images/Mike Comer

How serious is Mekhi Becton’s injury?

It didn’t look good, but the Jets are hoping they escaped something major. The NFL Network reported that it could be a sprained MCL for Becton, who will undergo an MRI on his knee.

The second-year left tackle was down with his helmet off after Zach Wilson connected on the Jets’ first touchdown pass of the season and his career. Many Jets took a knee and looked concerned. Becton needed to be helped off the field and eventually carted to the locker room.

"It’s rough," Wilson said. "It kills the whole play a little bit. You hope he’s doing OK. My prayers are with him. I hope he’s doing all right because it sucks to see your left tackle out."

If it’s only a sprained MCL, that’s good news for Becton and the Jets.

"Very unfortunate," center Connor McGovern said. "He’s definitely in our prayers. He’s a huge part of this offense, a huge part of this offensive line. Just praying for a speedy recovery."

Who started at right tackle and why?

In a bit of a surprise, Geoge Fant beat out Morgan Moses for the right tackle spot. Moses, who started 96 consecutive games for Washington, ended up coming in after Becton got hurt and played right tackle. Fant slid over to left tackle. That could be the way it is for the foreseeable future with Becton sidelined.

"Knock on wood, we got three starters at the tackles," Jets coach Robert Saleh said. "Teams are begging for just one. Both of them deserve to be playing, both of them deserve to be starting. George had just shown a little bit more. It doesn’t mean that Morgan showed less. George just showed a little bit more in terms of what we asked him to do."

Can the Jets rely on kicker Matt Ammendola to be their punter?

Ammendola sure looked good in his NFL debut after he replaced punter Braden Mann, who suffered a left knee injury early in the game. Daniel Brown was called for a hold as he pulled down a Panther and he ran into Mann’s knee.

Ammendola ended up punting six times and three of them were 50 yards or more. One went 65 yards. The kicker didn’t attempt a field goal or extra point, though.

"Terrific job by him," Saleh said. "Thought he punted the heck out of it for not really practicing it. He showed no pale face or anything. He just did a really good job so hats off to field. We wish we could have gotten a field goal [opportunity] in there."

What happened to the run-heavy offense?

It never materialized. The Jets rushed 17 times for 45 total yards, a major letdown after all the talk about the outside-zone blocking scheme and how it will lead to some big runs and wear down the defense. Neither happened.

"We didn’t execute as well as we should have," McGovern said. "Our goal every game is to rush for 200 yards or more. We didn’t get that done. It comes down to execution. We’re a young team. Everybody in that locker room is eager to get back to practice and clear all that stuff up."

Who else got hurt?

Safety LaMarcus Joyner suffered an elbow injury, linebacker Jamien Sherwood left with an ankle injury and linebacker Blake Cashman hurt his hamstring.

New York Sports