The New York Jets are losing offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker for the rest of the season, as he went down with a torn Achilles in Week 5. For the second season in a row, the 24-year-old is having his season cut short.
Jets general manager Joe Douglas had high hopes for the young offensive lineman this season, but he hasn’t played very well. Throughout the first five weeks of the season, Vera-Tucker has allowed the most hurries on the team.
The former USC Trojan was slated to be the team's starting right guard, but after injuries plagued New York’s offensive line he was moved to right tackle. Part of his struggles were certainly due to the Jets coaching staff shuffling the linemen around.
His career was off to a great start in 2021, as he only allowed two sacks in that season. In the first five weeks of this season, he’s already allowed two sacks. Now with consecutive season-ending injuries, it is unclear what New York will do with the versatile lineman.
How will Alijah Vera-Tucker's injury affect the Jets?
Last season before the 2021 first-round pick went down the Jets were 5-2. New York finished the season at 7-10. It was clear that his injury affected the team's offense.
With a win over the Denver Broncos in Week 5, the Jets still have a legitimate shot at the postseason. Losing Vera-Tucker will make the road there a lot harder than it would be with him.
Max Mitchell is Vera-Tucker's backup at right tackle.
New York will be hosting the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6, so they will be missing the 24-year-old. Zach Wilson will be taking snaps behind a depleted offensive line, so it will be a tough day against one of the best defenses in football.
Losing Vera-Tucker is for sure a blow to the Jets, but they still might have enough talent to overcome it. Robert Saleh has a great defense and Wilson is starting to make strides as a QB. Only time will tell if New York can overcome losing another offensive lineman.