New York has been hungry for some feel-good NFL news for quite some time because, well, both the New York Jets and New York Giants have been navigating hard times. And by navigating we mean ramming headlong into rock jetties every chance they get.
So this NFL season, with training camp only a couple of weeks old and young coaches and new players raising hopes, the Jets and Giants have been feeling a new course is coming.
And then days like Monday happen to remind everyone we’re a long way from good times in New York.
Let’s handle the Giants first:
They got (another) rough day from quarterback Daniel Jones, who threw a pair of interceptions to follow up on what was an uneven outing at a team practice at MetLife Stadium over the weekend. Receiver Kadarius Toney reportedly had a pair of drops although, in fairness, he’s had some moments of clarity during this camp.
Then there was a serious injury to rookie tight end prospect Andre Miller.
And then there was the full-on brawl during team drills that had reporters scrambling for their Twitter app to give blow-by-blow coverage. (Love it when my fellow scribes give play-by-play of a practice fight).
The thing that made this fight different is that it involved running back Saquon Barkley and included Giants offensive line coach Bobby Johnson.
So what set off the fight?
Per FOX sister publication the New York Post, “Center Jon Feliciano threw the first punch at linebacker Cam Brown after he was dragged out of a scrum by Brown. Feliciano looked to be playing dead and joking around but got to his feet and swung.”
Is this real life?
As to the Jets:
There was a significant concern this morning that the team’s offensive line plans were possibly collapsing when prospective starting right tackle Mehki Becton went down in a heap on the field after a run play.
Looks bad — particularly to anyone who saw Becton limping around on the same surgically repaired knee that is protected by a brace earlier in practice. That injury caused Becton to miss all but one game in 2021.
Coach Robert Saleh gave reporters an optimistic outlook saying the knee is “stable” but added Becton was headed for an MRI.
Yeah, with all due respect to the coach whose information comes from trainers, the Jets should hold their breath until the MRI results.
Because even before the play in which Becton suffered the reverse pancake he was seemingly injured, hobbling around, not moving well, suggesting stuff simply isn’t quite right. A source later told OutKick that Becton needed further evaluation because it is feared he fractured his kneecap.
And this is where good teams in the dark tunnel of bad news see the light coming up on them and figure out it’s a train.
The Jets seem to think it’s the end of the tunnel.
No, Jets, it’s not the end of the tunnel. The odds of Becton being and staying healthy until January are very long.
The club could easily protect itself from that oncoming train by signing free agent left tackle Duane Brown, a move that would allow the Jets to shift starting left tackle George Fant to the right side while Becton is out.
But Saleh insisted that’s not Plan A. The initial plan would be to go with the team’s backups and then, later on, consider Brown, who is 36 years old but still quite accomplished and capable.
“Getting a guy like Duane Brown is kind of being spoiled in a sense of just having so much great talent I guess at one position. But we do have faith in our backup offensive linemen. And anytime you get hurt, you’ve got to test your depth, it does become scary waters. But at the same time that’s why we put in all this work and do our best to prepare those guys to take those spots.
“So It doesn’t create panic at all, in my mind anyway. But a guy like Duane is bonus.”
The Jets could use the bonus because, simply, relying on Becton isn’t looking like a great decision right now.
It’s going to be an interesting year of New York football.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero