The New York Jets face uncertainty as veteran offensive tackle Duane Brown may be sidelined for the Week 3 matchup against the New England Patriots. On Saturday, September 23, they announced the decision to rule out Brown was conveyed by Gang Green.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 22, 2023
According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, Brown’s absence is due to injury. He has been grappling with an ailing shoulder and a recent hip injury this week.
The #Jets have downgraded LT Duane Brown (hip, shoulder) to OUT. Yesterday, Saleh said he was confident Brown would play despite not practicing, while noting that Brown was scheduled for a hip evaluation yesterday.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) September 23, 2023
Head coach Robert Saleh addressed the media on Friday, September 22, expressing optimism about Brown’s availability for Sunday’s game against New England. Despite not participating in practice all week, Saleh, relying on Brown’s experience and skill, believed he could still perform in Week 3.
Now, at the age of 38, Duane Brown is in the last stretch of his contract worth a hefty $20 million for the year 2023. Unfortunately, his absence in the game against the Patriots looms as a significant challenge for the Jets, as they aim for victory in this critical matchup.
The Jets next plan after Duane Brown’s injury
The New York Jets find themselves at a crossroads with Brown out of the starting lineup, especially when it comes to the offensive trenches. An important question arises, Will they just swap Brown for someone else at left tackle and keep everything else unchanged? Or will they completely shake up the starting lineup and rearrange things everywhere?
Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic openly posed this question on Twitter: “Will be curious to see if Jets keep Mekhi Becton at RT [right tackle] and start Billy Turner or change things up completely.”
OT Duane Brown was downgraded to OUT.
Will be curious to see if #Jets keep Mekhi Becton at RT and start Billy Turner or change things up completely.
Saleh and Keith Carter indicated they wouldn’t move Becton.
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) September 23, 2023
Coach Saleh, when asked about this, said that Becton will stick to his practiced position at right tackle, deeming a last-minute change “irresponsible.”
The #Jets are expecting Duane Brown to play vs #Patriots but if he can’t go Robert Saleh said they have contingency plans in place + Mekhi Becton stepping in at LT will NOT be one of those plans, ‘he’s been practicing a certain way this entire week [right tackle] to move him at… pic.twitter.com/34aedVg5Dx
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) September 22, 2023
In response to the possibility of shuffling multiple players around, Saleh once again emphasized the impracticality of such a move. If we take the coach’s word, it’s likely that Billy Turner or Max Mitchell will step into the left tackle position for the game against the Patriots.
Both Turner and Mitchell had their share of reps with the starting squad during training camp while Brown was recovering. Ultimately, Brown’s return to the lineup edged them out, with Becton securing the starting right tackle spot. In the 2022 season, Turner had substantial game time, featuring in eight games and starting seven for the Denver Broncos. Mitchell, in his rookie year, made appearances in six games and started five due to injuries in the offensive line.
While both players bring experience to the table, neither has significantly stood out in a positive light from an analytics perspective during their time on the football field. The Jets face a crucial decision as they weigh their options and plan their strategy moving forward.