FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton joined his teammates Tuesday for the start of mandatory minicamp after he skipped the voluntary offseason program.
Becton missed almost all of his second NFL season after dislocating his right kneecap and spraining his MCL in the opening game against Carolina in September.
The No. 11 overall pick in 2020 has been working out on his own in the Dallas area while staying in touch with the team. Becton’s fiancée also recently gave birth to the couple’s first child.
Coach Robert Saleh said last week he expected all of the team’s players to be present for the mandatory minicamp, so Becton’s attendance was not a surprise.
“Man it feels great to be back with my brothers,” Becton wrote on Twitter after practice. “But damn do i miss my family.”
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said Becton “looks good,” but added the 6-foot-7, 363-pound lineman will work with the Jets’ trainers during the team’s minicamp practice sessions Tuesday and Wednesday. He exercised and did some light running off to the side without a brace or sleeve on the knee — a positive sign.
“It was good to see him and I know he’s going through his process,” LaFleur said.
After Becton was injured last season against the Panthers, George Fant slid over from right tackle to Becton’s left tackle spot and performed well. The Jets anticipate the two competing for the left tackle job during training camp — with the other likely playing right tackle.
Fant is also recovering from offseason knee surgery, but is expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp in late July. He and Becton were among a group of players, including defensive end Carl Lawson and tight end C.J. Uzomah, working in the trainers area at the start of practice.
Becton has played only left tackle in the NFL, but his athleticism and size have led the Jets to believe he can succeed at either spot.
“He’s a very large man that’s hard to run around in the pass game and then, for being such a big man, he’s got a great first step to get on players and move them in the run game,” LaFleur said. “Our scheme or any other scheme, he’s got the talent. … The thing for Mekhi is for him just putting himself in the best situation for him going forward.”
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