The Jets found some success with Alijah Vera-Tucker swinging out to left tackle in Sunday’s game and Nate Herbig taking over at guard in the absence of George Fant – and some more reinforcements may be coming.
Duane Brown, who was signed to play left tackle after Mekhi Becton was lost for the year, is eligible to come off injured reserve, and Jets head coach Robert Saleh said Monday that the team will “see where he’s at” early this week as they decide whether or not to begin practicing him.
“We’ll see where he’s at; we have about 48 hours to see and decide whether or not we want to start his clock,” Saleh said. “You can get a guy practicing and you have 21 days after that, so we’ll have those conversations.”
If the Jets have Brown return to practice this week, they have 21 days to activate him off IR, and they’re hopeful that Brown is far enough along from his shoulder injury that he will be able to return this month – possibly even as soon as Week 5.
“He’s been working his tail off to get himself ready to play, and hopefully we get the chance to get him out on the practice field and test it,” Saleh said. “A lot of stuff will be determined over the next 48 hours.”
With both Fant and Brown on injured reserve, the Jets swung Tucker outside, and he played all 70 snaps at left tackle, with Herbig playing all 70 at right guard. However, rookie tackle Max Mitchell, who started at right tackle, left the game with a dislocated knee that will cost him multiple weeks, so Conor McDermott took over and finished the game – meaning the Jets’ two tackles at the end of the game were their fifth-stringer and a converted guard.
Dan Feeney, who plays inside, and Cedric Ogbuehi are the only backup linemen currently on the Jets’ roster, although they do have four on the practice squad, but it looks like AVT is going to get at least one more start at left tackle – and that’s not exactly as much of an emergency move as one might think.
“To be honest, he’s been working at left tackle for a few weeks preparing for this moment, and it happened,” Saleh said. “After practices, he’s been putting in extra time to get prepared for this kind of worst-case scenario, and credit to him and his mindset and preparation to go out there and not even flinch and make the best of it, and do a really good job.”
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