One of the Jets’ top playmakers suffered a horrific injury that threatens to ruin his rookie season. The team must now find a way to replace him and keep their playoff hopes alive.
The New York Jets’ first game under Zach Wilson did not go as planned. Sure, the highly-touted draft selection shown glimpses of star potential with some spectacular passes. However, he was constantly pressured by a Carolina Panthers team that only had 29 sacks and was 18th in scores allowed last season. And the Jets had to watch former starting quarterback Sam Darnold celebrate a win with his new teammates after the final whistle sounded.
Wilson, however, may struggle to find consistent success after his up-and-down NFL start. Indeed, with his club already struggling with a slew of injuries, the brilliant quarterback seems certain to face more tough days at work during his first season.
In Week 1, the Jets were defeated on many levels.
If Week 1 is any indication, Jets supporters shouldn’t have high expectations for the rest of the season. After all, the club had started the season with numerous defeats.
The Jets seemed to be overmatched on all sides of the ball against a young, talented Panthers team. Darnold (287 passing yards, two total touchdowns) and All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey were both slowed by Robert Saleh’s defense (187 total yards on 30 touches). On 60 plays, the Wilson-led offense averaged just 2.6 yards per run and 4.8 yards per throw.
The Jets not only lost their first game of the season, but they also lost many important players. Lamarcus Joyner, a safety, tore his triceps and will miss the rest of the season. Braden Mann, a punter, has hurt his knee and will be sidelined for four to six weeks. Plus, after being hurt against the Panthers, linebackers Jamien Sherwood (ankle) and Blake Cashman (hamstring) will miss time.
However, in the third quarter, 2020 first-round selection Mekhi Becton went down with what looked to be a severe knee injury, dealing the Jets a season-ending blow. The physically intimidating left tackle was carried to the locker room and did not return to the game.
Wilson was sacked six times in total, and considering his blindside protector’s severe setback, it might easily happen again.
Zach Wilson’s rookie season is in jeopardy due to Mekhi Becton’s injury.
After Jets LT Mekhi Becton went down with a knee injury, Zach Wilson’s prospects of having a good rookie season may have vanished. | Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Jets fans have already seen one of their top draft picks’ career take a turn for the worst due to a lack of protection.
Is it possible that this will happen again?
Wilson has the potential to be a superstar, but without the proper supporting cast, he will never achieve his full potential. That begins with proper protection, and anybody who saw the Jets’ defeat to the Panthers on Sunday saw how they still struggle to keep their quarterback out of harm’s way.
And it’s possible that things may deteriorate worse.
Becton is expected to miss four to six weeks due to a dislocated right knee cap, according to ESPN. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the second-year player will have arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage.
Wilson’s news isn’t exactly encouraging, is it?
The talented rookie has to play behind an offensive line that won’t have its best player ready until late October, after being sacked six times in his NFL career (the Panthers also registered 10 quarterback hits). Wilson’s ability to make it through a 17-game season had already been questioned due to his tiny 6-foot-2, 214-pound physique, but Becton’s absence might spell disaster.
Will Wilson be able to make it through his first season if he is subjected to additional hits and punishment? Will he suffer as a result of the Jets’ decision to shift George Fant to left tackle?
Wilson’s situation is made more harder by Becton’s injury at this point in the season. And if the Jets continue to get beaten up at the line of scrimmage, things may turn nasty fast.
The first year of Robert Saleh’s presidency may be a disaster.
So maybe it wasn’t the 49ers’ poor luck with injuries, but Robert Saleh?
Another defensive starter for the Jets has been gone for the season. For week 2, they’ll be without at least six predicted Week 1 starters (total).
September 13, 2021 — Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre)
Injuries may drastically change a team’s fortunes in the NFL. Although the Jets did not begin the season as a legitimate postseason contender, Becton’s absence may create serious difficulties for Wilson and his teammates.
This week, the Jets will face a New England Patriots front seven that features Dont’a Hightower, Matt Judon, Kyle Van Noy, and Josh Uche, a rising star. Oh, and in Week 7, the Jets will face Bill Belichick’s team, which might be Becton’s first game back. The Patriots will ratchet up the pressure on Wilson in an attempt to compel him to make errors.
The Jets also have to face the Denver Broncos in Week 3, which isn’t looking good for Wilson. The Broncos have two great pass rushers in Bradley Chubb and Von Miller, who can do significant damage.
Zach Wilson’s coaching staff must find out a method to keep him out of harm’s way without Mekhi Becton in the lineup. Does anybody really trust the Jets to get the job done, considering their history of putting their quarterbacks up for failure?
Pro Football Reference provided all statistics.
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The New York Jets Suffer Disastrous Injury Blow That Threatens to Ruin Zach Wilson’s Rookie Season is a story about the New York Jets losing their starting quarterback, who just happens to be the backup. Reference: who is russell wilson.
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