Early signs of trouble for Jets? Gang Green place Mekhi Becton, Carl Lawson, and others on PUP list

The New York Jets have placed several key players -- including Mekhi Becton and Carl Lawson -- on the PUP list in advance of training camp.

The New York Jets have a lot of money on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. On Thursday, Gang Green placed offensive tackles Mekhi Becton and George Fant, defensive end Carl Lawson, tight end C.J. Uzomah, and guard Dru Samia on the PUP list as they deal with injuries entering training camp.

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Jets place five players on PUP list

The NFL has two versions of the PUP list: active/PUP and reserve/PUP. The Jets placed their players on active/PUP, which is primarily for those recovering from injuries as training camp gets underway. They can be removed from the list at any time.

If Becton, Lawson, et al. are still dealing with health issues once the regular season starts, they would be shifted to reserve/PUP and required to miss at least four games. For now, the active/PUP designation isn’t the end of the world. But if the injuries linger, New York could be missing some of its critical players when the 2022 campaign begins.

The Jets’ offensive line would be clearly in trouble if their starting tackles are forced to miss time. Fant and Becton are set to decide who plays left and right tackle via a training camp competition, and New York doesn’t have a lot of depth behind them. Morgan Moses left in free agency, so the Jets would turn to an underwhelming group of Connor McDermott, Chuma Edoga, and fourth-round rookie Max Mitchell if Fant or Becton are sidelined.

Fant is a free agent after the upcoming season, so he needs a healthy year to land another contract at age 30. He missed Week 17 of last season with a knee injury and subsequently underwent offseason surgery.

Becton, meanwhile, only managed to play in one game in 2021 after suffering a knee injury of his own. PFN’s Tony Pauline has reported that New York’s front office is dissatisfied with the former No. 11 overall pick’s conditioning, and missing training camp reps won’t help his reputation.

Lawson was the Jets’ highest-profile free agent signing a year ago. The former Bengal landed a three-year, $45 million deal from the Jets but tore his Achilles in the club’s second preseason game. Expected to be the centerpiece of Robert Saleh’s pass-rushing attack, Lawson is complemented by John Franklin-Myers, Vinny Curry, and 2022 first-round pick Jermaine Johnson II.

Lawson’s pact was nominally three years in length, but it’s really more like a two-year, $30 million accord. The Jets could pull the plug next offseason and be left with just $333,333 in dead money, so Lawson needs to show out this year. If he can get back to his 2020 level of production (when he finished sixth in the league with 64 pressures), Lawson can make things easier for New York’s rebuilt secondary.

Finally, Uzomah is expected to be the Jets’ starting tight end after setting career highs across the board with Cincinnati last year. He’s dealing with an undisclosed injury, but it’s not believed to be serious, per Connor Hughes of the Athletic. New York also signed former Vikings TE Tyler Conklin and drafted Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert in the third round, so they have plenty of depth (although Ruckert is currently on the non-football injury list).

NFL PUP list update

Five other teams also placed players on the PUP list to begin training camp. Here’s the full rundown:

Atlanta Falcons: LB Deion Jones

Las Vegas Raiders: WR Dillon Stoner

New England Patriots: C David Andrews, CB Jonathan Jones, LB Raekwon McMillan, S Jabrill Peppers, RB James White

New Orleans Saints: DE Marcus Davenport, WR Michael Thomas

New York Giants: TE Daniel Bellinger

Dallas Robinson is a Writer and News Editor at Pro Football Network. You can read his other work here and follow him on Twitter: @dallasdrobinson.

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