New York Jets OT Mekhi Becton Blames Coaching Staff for Knee Injury: ‘No One Cared’

Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton says decisions by New York's coaching staff put him in a position to get injured last summer.

Offensive tackle Mekhi Becton’s career with the New York Jets has been derailed by a series of injuries, and the former first-round pick has put Gang Green’s coaching staff on blast. In an interview with Newsday, Becton blamed a position switch for his season-ending injury in 2022.

Mekhi Becton Says Jets Coaching Staff Failed Him

Becton, the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, made 13 starts at left tackle during his rookie campaign. Expected to man the blindside again in 2021, Becton played in just one regular-season game before suffering a kneecap fracture and MCL damage that ultimately kept him on the sidelines for the remainder of the year.

Last summer, the Jets moved Becton to right tackle, allowing veteran George Fant to take over on the left side. That switch, per Becton, contributed to a second knee injury.

“It made no sense to put me at right tackle,” Becton said. “I hurt my right knee. That’s going to be the knee that I put the most pressure on [while backpedaling in pass protection]. I explained it [to the coaches], but no one cared.”

Becton said he voiced his complaints to New York’s coaching staff but was rebuffed. Eventually, after limping through practices, Becton’s knee buckled. He was diagnosed with an avulsion fracture in his right kneecap and forced to undergo surgery.

“I got forced to play a position I don’t play,” Becton said. “I was pretty much telling them I wasn’t feeling good the whole time throughout camp, and I was told I shouldn’t be complaining. Go out there and do it. I was limping throughout the whole practice, and I just took a step, and my knee buckled, and I got hurt again and had to get reconstructive knee surgery.”

MORE: How Jets’ Mekhi Becton Can Redefine His Legacy in 2023

Becton has played in just one game over the past two seasons. The Jets declined his fifth-year option for 2024, which would have been worth $13.565 million, meaning he’ll be a free agent next offseason.

Despite his criticisms, Becton still appears excited about the Jets’ prospects for the season.

“I don’t want to look too far ahead, but I definitely feel way more confident than I’ve felt these past three years,” Becton said. “I feel like we’re going to win a lot of games, have a lot of fun, and just the energy and vibe with the players at the facility is uplifting.”

Becton has struggled with weight issues throughout his career and had reportedly ballooned to the 400-pound range last year. However, thanks to a new workout routine and an altered diet, Becton weighed 342 pounds at his most recent check-in. He’s currently slotted in as New York’s starting right tackle.

Becton isn’t the only Jets player to complain about how the club deals with medical issues. Running back Ty Johnson tore his pectoral muscle while working out away from the team facility in April. A Jets doctor reportedly told him to have surgery to correct the issue, but New York released him just days later.

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