NFL

Belichick vindicated once more as Jackson builds DPOY case

By Sports Desk November 29, 2021

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  • Jets offensive lineman Mekhi Becton could be out for the season after troubling MRI Jets offensive lineman Mekhi Becton could be out for the season after troubling MRI

    New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton exited Monday’s practice with a right knee injury that the team fears may be more serious than initially believed, according to reports.

    The Associated Press reports that the Jets expect Becton, the team’s projected starting right tackle, to miss significant time after receiving results of an MRI. The 2020 first-round pick will undergo further testing Tuesday to determine the severity.

    Becton missed nearly all of last season after dislocating his right kneecap in the 2021 opener, but reported to training camp healthy and in acceptable shape after also battling weight issues following surgery in September.

    Jets coach Robert Saleh told reporters following Monday’s practice that early indications were that Becton may have avoided a serious injury.

    "The only thing I got is that (the knee) is stable and it seems fine," Saleh said. "That’s preliminary, obviously. We’re just going to get it checked for precautionary reasons. But as of now, it doesn’t seem like it’s a big deal, but knock on wood, hopefully that stays the case."

    The 11th overall pick of the 2020 draft, Becton started 13 games at left tackle as a rookie and began last season at the position before getting hurt. The 23-year-old was moved to the right side this offseason with veteran George Fant, who took over left tackle following Becton’s injury, remaining in that spot.

    Conor McDermott, who started two games at left tackle in 2021, is currently listed behind Becton on the Jets’ depth chart. Backup left tackle Chuma Edoga started 12 games at tackle, including seven on the right side, between 2019 and 2020.

  • Burrows 'looking good' but Bengals not rushing a return Burrows 'looking good' but Bengals not rushing a return

    With less than five weeks until the start of the NFL season, Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor isn't worried about when quarterback Joe Burrow will be back on the practice field. 

    Burrow, the 2020 top overall draft pick, underwent surgery last month to remove his appendix. While he has been seen on the sidelines at Bengals practices, Burrow has yet to resume football activities. 

    "He's starting to get better every single day," Taylor said of his star signal-caller. "Again, I don't want to put a timeline on when he gets out here and starts throwing and stuff, but it's been encouraging. He's back to himself in meetings so — looking good."

    The Bengals' 2022 season opens on September 11 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, although Burrow is still expected to be healthy enough to start under center. 

    "He knows himself way better than we do," Taylor said. "I trust the communications with him when we're going to get him back out here.

    "We've got plenty of time before the opener and I trust that we'll have a good process in place."

    Burrow cemented his place among the game's best young quarterbacks last season, bouncing back from the knee injury that ended his rookie campaign to lead the Bengals to a 10-6 record as a starter in 2021. 

    The Bengals played in the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1988 season but lost to the Los Angeles Rams. 

    Over his last eight games of 2021, including four playoff games, Burrow threw for 16 touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 72 percent of his passes. 

  • Raiders coach McDaniels declares 'no desire' in trading Jacobs Raiders coach McDaniels declares 'no desire' in trading Jacobs

    While most established starters typically sit out the NFL's Hall of Fame Game, Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs saw plenty of action last Thursday night.

    Jacobs touched the ball on seven of the Raiders' first 12 plays – rushing five times for 30 yards and catching two passes for 14 yards – leading some to believe the team was deliberately giving him a larger workload so there would be more tape on him for a potential trade.

    Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels quashed those rumours on Monday, dismissing the idea of the team looking for a trade.

    "We have a lot of confidence in J.J. And, you know, he did well with his opportunities, which we hoped he would," McDaniels said. "But no, we have no desire to do that at all."

    Some of the speculation that the Raiders want to trade Jacobs stems from the fact he is entering the final year of his rookie contract after the team decided not to pick up his fifth-year option this past offseason.

    He was one of the bigger names on the Raiders not to get a contract extension under the new regime led by McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler after quarterback Derek Carr, edge rusher Maxx Crosby and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow all received big paydays.

    Jacobs has led the Raiders in rushing each of his first three seasons in the league with his 3,087 rushing yards ranking fifth in the NFL since his 2019 rookie season.

    He is expected to be Las Vegas' starting running back again this season, though the team did draft Zamir White out of Georgia in the fourth round of April’s draft, signed veteran free agent Brandon Bolden and will get Kenyan Drake back from a broken right ankle that cut short his 2021 season.

    White led the Raiders with 75 all-purpose yards in Thursday’s 27-11 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Drake ran five times for nine yards. 

    "As I said after the game, I really do believe that the backs, don't really get to simulate what's going to happen during the course of the regular season," McDaniels said. "And so, giving them an opportunity to actually get tackled, take care of the football and get acclimated to a new system, quite honestly, I think is the goal. Each man's different.

    "We'll try to do what's best for the team. We felt like that was a good thing, a good opportunity for all our backs that played."

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