EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets shuffled some of the big boys up front on the offensive line for their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
With starting left tackle Duane Brown placed on injured reserve Saturday with a hip injury, the Jets moved Mekhi Becton from right tackle to the left side.
Starting right guard Alijah Vera-Tucker switched to right tackle, and rookie Joe Tippmann made his first NFL start at right guard. Left guard Laken Tomlinson and center Connor McGovern stayed at their usual spots.
The 38-year-old Brown was initially ruled out for the game and then placed on IR on Saturday after he missed practice all week. Coach Robert Saleh was optimistic Friday that Brown would play, depending on how Brown's hip checked out with doctors.
With Brown now out at least four games, the Jets slid Becton back over to his natural position — despite both Saleh and offensive line coach Keith Carter seeming to rule out a position switch.
“He has been practicing a certain way this entire week,” Saleh said Friday, “so to move him in the last second would be irresponsible on our part.”
That might have been gamesmanship by the Jets, who were looking to snap a 14-game losing streak against the Patriots.
Becton missed most of the past two seasons with knee injuries, but won the job at right tackle this summer and has played well. The 2020 first-round draft pick entered the NFL as a left tackle, but moved to the right side last summer before he was injured.
Vera-Tucker has shown versatility during his two-plus seasons in the NFL, playing every position on the offensive line other than center.
Tippmann, a second-round pick out of Wisconsin in April, was primarily a center in college but also practiced at guard during training camp.
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