It took until December, but the injury-depleted offensive line of the New York Jets finally has some depth.
This has been a year in which the Jets have lost all six of their top offensive tackles to injury. Those players being, Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Duane Brown, George Fant, Max Mitchell, and recently, Cedric Ogbuehi, all to injured reserve. Becton and Vera-Tucker sustained season-ending injuries.
Fortunately for the Jets, Brown has battled through a shoulder injury all year and deserves the utmost respect for his commitment to this football team. Not to mention, Brown has provided the Jets with some great on-field contributions at left tackle.
Also, within the last two weeks, the Jets have gotten Mitchell and Fant back. Fant missed over two months and Mitchell nearly two months.
Ironically, and this speaks to the constant injuries that have hampered this group, when Mitchell returned in Week 12, he was originally backing up Ogbuehi before he got hurt early. Mitchell remained the starter into Week 13, but Fant was shortly after put in the lineup.
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State of the New York Jets offensive line:
Finally, the Jets have their starting five and, beyond that, quality depth. And, for the first time, they have three of their tackles healthy simultaneously, supplying some comforting depth.
While right tackle is not officially set in stone, the presumed starting offensive line at the moment, from left to right tackle, is Brown, Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, Nate Herbig, and Fant. A pretty exciting, talented group across the board, more than capable of getting the job done for the Jets’ offense. From there, Mitchell is the third swing tackle off the bench, giving the Jets a backup they can feel confident in.
Tackle rounds out with 10-year veteran Mike Remmers as the fourth on the depth chart. One would have to assume that when he returns, Ogbuehi would slot in fourth on the depth chart at tackle.
Then, the interior of the offensive line has a quality first backup in veteran guard/center, Dan Feeney. Also, 2021 Jet Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was recently added. He is on the practice squad currently but can be elevated to the team’s active roster, providing even more depth for this offensive line.
So, all in all, while it took until Week 13 to finally have three healthy tackles, the Jets have the required depth to feel comfortable with down the stretch of 2022. Across the board, the starting unit and depth, despite season-ending injuries to Vera-Tucker and Becton, is still a stout group. Joe Douglas deserves an abundance of credit for continuing to bolster this position group. In the end, the Jets have the offensive line to make it through the final five regular season games of 2022, looking to make the playoffs.