Mekhi Becton faces another big challenge this week, but so does his opponent.
One week after helping to keep Rams pass rusher Aaron Donald away from Sam Darnold, Becton will try to do the same against Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.
"You want to know where you’re at, this is the right guy to go against," Adam Gase said. "He’s impressive. Just seeing how fast he gets off the ball, how he turns the corner, how he can change direction, his pursuit to the ball, the violence of his hits, when you see him play live it’s an impressive sight to see."
Garrett has 11 sacks in 12 games this season, and last year he ended Jets’ backup quarterback Trevor Siemian’s season in Week 2. But Garrett wasn’t matched up with Becton, the Jets’ 6-7, 370-pound rookie behemoth who enjoys these battles and has held his own against some established players.
Becton wasn’t lined up all game against Donald last week — the Rams move him all over — but he helped limit Donald and walled him off to allow Frank Gore to run in for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
"Mekhi’s done a really good job," offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. "He’s going to be a really, really good player in this league. He continues to get better week in and week out. That’s the true sign of when you start to see what can this guy’s ceiling be? You see him keep improving weekly.
"As an offense it gives you a lot of freedom to understand that our left tackle can handle a majority of pass rushers one-on-one. When we need him to be able to handle a guy one-on-one because that’s what the protection calls for it’s really nice to have that guy over there who can handle that responsibility."
Safety Marcus Maye was named Jets MVP as voted by his teammates. Other Jets’ award winners were running back Frank Gore (Most Inspirational Player), tight end Ryan Griffin (Most Courageous Player), safety Matthias Farley (Community Service), defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi (Good Guy) and wide receiver Denzel Mims (Rookie Who Acts Like A Pro).
Griffin was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday because he was a close contact. Gase said the tight end has a shot at playing Sunday. … Fatukasi was on that list last week for the same reason. All his tests were negative, but Fatukasi was unable to play because it happened later in the week, and the Jets needed to follow the protocols. So Fatukasi missed the Jets’ first win, but he was happy for his teammates. "To see them going out there and fight and come out with the win, come on, all I can do is smile for my guys," he said. "Having that win is something that felt special."