The New York Jets’ offensive line depth gets weaker with an injury to their best offensive lineman. Right guard/tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker suffered an Achilles tear in the Jets’ Week 5 win against the Denver Broncos. Vera-Tucker will miss the rest of the 2023 season.
He started at right guard and tackle this season. He switched to right tackle because the Jets placed left tackle Duane Brown on the injured reserve. Mekhi Becton switched from right to left tackle, and the Jets inserted Joe Tippmann at right guard. This is Alijah’s second consecutive season-ending injury.
The New York Jets drafted Alijah Vera-Tucker in the 2021 NFL Draft.
During the 2022 offseason, the Jets signed left guard Laken Tomlinson to a 3-year, $40 million contract, and Vera-Tucker moved to right guard. Left tackle George Fant missed Week 4, and Vera-Tucker started for Fant. He then moved to right tackle after Max Mitchell got injured in Week 5. Vera-Tucker continued to start the next three games at right tackle.
Vera-Tucker suffered a torn triceps in Week 7. New York placed him on injured reserve on October 25, 2022. Vera-Tucker missed the rest of the 2022 season.
Vera Tucker is in his third year of his 4-year, $15,885,028 rookie contract. The Jets have to decide whether to accept or decline his 5th-year option.
New York has a few options to replace Alijah Vera-Tucker.
Option 1: Max Mitchell
The first option is backup right tackle Max Mitchell. New York drafted Max Mitchell in the 4th round-111th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. Max was named the starting right tackle entering his rookie season and played the first four games. Mitchell hurt his knee in Week 4. New York placed him on the injured reserve.
On November 26, the Jets activated Max Mitchell from the injured reserve. The Jets placed him on the NFI list on December 7th. He would miss the rest of the season because doctors discovered blood clots. The condition isn’t believed to be career-threatening.
Option 2: Mekhi Becton.
The next candidate to replace Vera-Tucker is Mekhi Becton. With the injury to left tackle Duane Brown, Mekhi Becton started the last three games at left tackle. Duane Brown was placed on injured reserve with a hip injury before Week 3 and has at least one week left on the injured reserve.
If Duane Brown gets activated, the Jets could switch Becton back to right tackle. Becton prefers to play left tackle. Becton got injured last year during training camp at right tackle.
Losing AVT is a huge loss
Losing AVT is a huge loss for the Jets. He is their best offensive lineman. The Jets will have to rely on Becton or Mitchell to step up in place of AVT.
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