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Alijah Vera-Tucker’s calf injury a ‘concern’ for Jets after early exit

DENVER — For the second straight season, Alijah Vera-Tucker left the field at Empower Field at Mile High with a potentially serious injury.

Vera-Tucker, who has been the Jets’ best starting offensive lineman this season, suffered a calf injury in the second quarter and did not return. After the match, coach Robert Saleh seemed worried that the injury could be serious.

“It’s definitely a concern,” Saleh said.

When asked if Vera-Tucker might have an Achilles tendon injury, Saleh only said, “He’s going to have to have an MRI.”

Vera-Tucker suffered a season-ending injury last season in Denver, tearing his triceps.

Vera-Tucker has been a key part of the offensive line this season, moving from right guard to right tackle in Week 3 to help stabilize the line. Last week, Saleh talked about keeping Vera-Tucker at right tackle permanently because he played well there.

Alijah Vera-Tucker, at Jets practice, suffers from a calf injury.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Before leaving the game Sunday, Vera-Tucker gave up a sack on the game’s first drive when Nik Bonitto beat him to the edge. Max Mitchell replaced Vera-Tucker after the injury.

The Jets left scores on the field late in the first half.

With no timeouts and the ball in Denver with 13 and 15 seconds remaining, quarterback Zach Wilson threw to TE CJ Uzomah inbounds for a 5-yard gain.

The Jets failed to get the ball in time to punch it and stop the clock.

Time expired and the Jets didn’t even get a field goal try.

“I have to do better in this situation,” Wilson said. “I knew if we throw the ball inbounds, we have to time it. I think, obviously, I was frustrated that we didn’t come back quickly enough to time it, but what does that five 5 thrown to CJ really do for us? We were already within firing range. Really, it was about taking a chance in the end zone and I knew that, but I felt like he was so open that I was like, “Let me give him a chance to go run to succeed.” But in reality, there were no photos of that. I should have put it over his head and scored the basket on the next play. I have to be better there.

CJ Uzomah makes a catch against the Broncos on Sunday.
CJ Uzomah makes a catch against the Broncos on Sunday.
Getty Images

The Jets had plenty of salary on the inactive list Sunday.

DE Carl Lawson and WR Mecole Hardman were both surprisingly inactive for the game.

Lawson is making $9 million this season after restructuring his contract and Hardman is making $4 million.

The Jets could attempt to trade both players in the coming weeks, but it could be difficult to find a trade partner.

LT Mekhi Becton left the game twice due to soreness in his surgically repaired right knee, but was able to return to the game on both occasions.

Billy Turner played left tackle in his place when he was out.

New York Post

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