In the Second Half, the Jets Missed the Power, Energy and Smarts of the Towering Rookie vs. Colts Jack Bell
The Jets lost Mekhi Becton in the second quarter on Sunday and then lost a game to the Indianapolis Colts.
Becton, 21, the prized rookie offensive left tackle, left the game late in the first half with a shoulder injury, and did not return for the second half in the 36-7 loss at Lucas Oil Stadium. Becton, who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a tender shoulder (but practiced fully on Friday), departed before the two-minute warning with the Jets trailing by 17-7, and was replaced by Conor McDermott, who played in seven games (two starts) for the Jets in 2019.
The Jets, who have been dealing with a raft of injuries across the roster, started the game minus right tackle George Fant (concussion). Fant was replaced by Chuma Edoga. At the same time, center Connor McGovern (hamstring) did make the start.
"It was tough running the ball when Bec left," Jets Head Coach Adam Gase said. "It hurt our run game there."
Asked what the team's medical staff said, Gase said: "They just told me he had a shoulder and was out for second half. We've got minimum amount of time. We didn't have time for long discussion."
Becton (6-7, 363) has quickly emerged as an important cog in the Jets rebuilt offensive line, which includes Fant, McGovern and Greg Van Roten.
With Becton out injured, Van Roten said that the Jets' running game was at a distinct disadvantage. Becton has been one of the bright spots as the team's young and promising anchor of the offensive line.
"He's a first-round pick, he's enormous, he brings energy, he's a young, strong, intelligent player," Van Roten said about Becton. "Whenever you lose a starter on the offensive line, especially the left tackle, it hurts. Especially when he's your biggest and strongest up front. We missed the energy out there.
"We've seen in the the past couple of weeks what he can do in small doses. He's a game-changer. He's a big man who can change your run game. I don't know how much he was missed today, especially when the game got away from us. We need him back. He's a big part of our line."