Ahead of the start of training camp next week, New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton was one of five players to be placed on the active/PUP list on Thursday, the team announced.
The 2020 No. 11 overall pick missed 16 games last season because of a knee injury.
New York's other starting offensive tackle George Fant also joined Becton on the PUP list, along with defensive end Carl Lawson, tight end C.J. Uzomah and guard Dru Samia. All five players can be removed from the list at any time.
After being drafted out of Louisville two years ago, Becton had a promising rookie season that led many to believe the Jets had found their franchise left tackle. But the 23-year-old has struggled with weight issues and injuries throughout his young career. He's appeared in a total of 15 games over his first two years, but he's completed only eight of them.
Becton appears to be motivated to bounce back in a big way this season. While attending the team's mandatory minicamp last month, he wore a shirt that read "Big Bust," which was encircled by the words, "Fat ... Lazy ... Out of Shape ... Bum ... Sucks ... Overweight ... Injury Prone." It was his first time in front of the media since last September, and he skipped the voluntary portion of New York's offseason program for the birth of his first child.
When asked if he had a message to his critics, Becton told reporters, "I'm going to make them eat their words."
Training camp will be crucial for Becton to prove he deserves the left tackle position. Fant excelled last year while filling in for him, and head coach Robert Saleh said after the season that Becton would have to win his job back. For his part, Becton isn't afraid of some competition.
"It's football," he said. "We're always going to compete no matter what. I'll just have to go out there and get my job back."