FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson will have a new blindside protector this week, as left tackle Duane Brown was ruled out Saturday with a hip injury and placed on injured reserve.
The Jets haven't said who will replace Brown on Sunday against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium, but one strong possibility is Mekhi Becton, who started the first two games at right tackle.
This comes at an inopportune time for the Jets (1-1), who have a struggling backup quarterback and an offensive line that allowed a league-high pressure percentage (57.6%) in Week 2 -- a 30-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Brown, 38, who missed the preseason as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery, was dominated by Micah Parsons (two sacks) last week.
Brown played the entire game, but he showed up Wednesday on the practice report with a hip injury. On Friday, coach Robert Saleh said he was "very confident" that Brown, despite not practicing all week, would play. He was listed as questionable. Brown went for a hip evaluation Friday, according to Saleh. Now that he's on IR, he will miss at least four games.
Brown was the NFL's lowest-ranked tackle in pass-block win rate through two games, according to ESPN analytics.
To replace Brown, the Jets could go with Becton or Billy Turner, a career backup. Becton, a 2020 first-round pick, is a natural left tackle who was switched to right tackle in the middle of training camp. He hasn't played left tackle in a game since the 2021 opener, when he suffered his second major injury to his right knee. He made a terrific comeback from back-to-back surgeries, beating out Turner and Max Mitchell for the right-tackle job in camp.
On Friday, Saleh downplayed the possibility of starting Becton at left tackle.
"He's been practicing a certain way this entire week, so to move him at the last second would be irresponsible on our part," Saleh said.
There could be gamesmanship involved, as the Jets may not want to tip their hand to the Patriots (0-2). The Jets have dropped 14 straight to their AFC East rival.