Mekhi Becton missed a second straight day of practice Friday for the New York Jets. With the Week 1 season opener against the Buffalo Bills looming in four days, any missed practice is a big deal for a starter, much less one who’s played only one game the past two seasons because of knee issues.
However, Robert Saleh told reporters that Becton was home with an illness, per Connor Hughes. There was no further word if the massive tackle will be back at the Jets facility Saturday and/or be able to play Monday against the Bills.
‘Mekhi Becton is not practicing today because he has an illness, Robert Saleh just told us.'
The 24-year-old won the starting right tackle spot with a strong preseason and training camp. He’s in the best shape of his career and the Jets are managing his workload so that they can maximize his performance and, hopefully, keep him on the field. Becton did not practice Thursday as part of his load management.
As a rookie in 2020, the former first-round pick played 14 games and started 13 as he battled weight issues and some injuries. He sustained a season-ending knee injury in the 2021 season opener at the Carolina Panthers and then missed all of 2022 when he injured his knee again in training camp.
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) August 29, 2023
As such, Becton has not played a regular-season home game at MetLife Stadium since 2020. And he’s been excited about being part of a game at home Monday night.
If Becton is ruled out by the illness for Week 1, veteran lineman Billy Turner likely would start at right tackle. Second-year pro Max Mitchell is also an option.