The New York Jets are uncertain if one, none, or both of their two left tackles will be available for the NFL Black Friday Game against the Miami Dolphins.
Making his eighth straight start on the left side, Mekhi Becton was forced out of the Jets' Week 11 loss due to a first-quarter ankle injury. Initially suspected to be a high ankle sprain, Becton's issue may wind up being less severe.
"He's trying to go for Friday. He's working through it. He's taped up. He'll be part of practice today," said Jets' head coach Robert Saleh prior to Tuesday's walkthrough in Florham Park.
Meanwhile, Duane Brown, the Week 1 starter at left tackle, will reach the end of his 21-day activation window on Thursday. After playing 100 percent of the snaps during the season's first two games, the 38-year-old Brown landed on Injured Reserve due to a hip issue.
"We have until Thursday," said Saleh on Monday. "We are going to try and lean on him a little bit this week to see where he is at. Just try to get him some physical contact to see how he feels and see whether or not he feels like he can get out there."
Saleh provided an update on Tuesday, but he did not commit to activating Brown prior to the deadline.
"We're just working through it, trying to see where he's at. It's a walkthrough [today], so I think we'll have a really good idea on Wednesday," said Saleh. "Practice is different than game, obviously. We're just trying to do our best to make sure that we put him through a very game-like situation for him. We'll give it another run and see where he's at."
Brown made 12 starts while playing through a torn rotator cuff in 2022. He underwent offseason surgery to repair the injury, but, admittedly, may have rushed his return to action.
"I was a bit ambitious in my recovery time, trying to get back. I don't think I was as strong as I could have been," said Brown earlier this month.
After missing 33 consecutive games due to right knee problems, Becton has been a beacon of availability thus far this year. He selflessly started the season at right tackle to accommodate Brown on the left side. Following Brown's injury, Becton filled the void on the blindside.
When Becton left the November 19 game after injuring his ankle, fourth-round rookie Carter Warren came off the bench for his first NFL action on offense. The Garden State product, who made 40 career appearances for Atlantic Coast Conference member Pitt, logged 49 snaps against the Bills.
"Carter, I thought was a pleasant surprise. Tremendous footwork, great patience," said Saleh. "If he does have to go this week, it'll be another opportunity for him to grow."
Veteran Billy Turner, who made one start at right tackle before missing back-to-back games, may be able to return this week. He has been unavailable due to a surgically-repaired finger.
"Trending in the right direction," said Saleh of the 32-year-old Turner.