The New England Patriots will face a shorthanded New York Jets team in Week 2.
Jets starting left tackle Mekhi Becton is expected to miss the next four to six weeks after suffering a knee injury in Sunday’s season-opening loss to the Carolina Panthers, according to a report Monday from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
That timetable means Becton could miss the second Patriots-Jets matchup, too, as the AFC East rivals are scheduled to play again in Week 7.
Becton, one of the NFL’s largest players at 6-foot-7, 363 pounds, showed promise as a rookie last season and plays an important role as Zach Wilson’s blindside protector. Carolina put a hurting on the Jets’ first-year quarterback Sunday, sacking him five times and registering 10 QB hits.
The Patriots’ reloaded front seven sacked Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa twice in their season opener — a 17-16 loss at Gillette Stadium — and pressured him into multiple mistakes, including a fourth-quarter interception. Pass rushers like Matt Judon and Josh Uche will be difficult matchups for Becton’s expected replacement, George Fant.
Speaking of tough matchups, the Patriots are 21-6 against rookie quarterbacks during Bill Belichick’s coaching tenure, with last year’s loss to Tagovailoa’s Dolphins snapping a streak of nine consecutive victories. Wilson was the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.
The Patriots enter Week 2 with some injury concerns of their own, as starting right tackle Trent Brown exited Sunday’s game with a calf issue after just seven snaps. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower also appeared to suffer an injury during New England’s final defensive series.