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Jets star lineman suffers season-ending injury in Denver for second straight season

Jets star lineman suffers season-ending injury in Denver for second straight season
  • PublishedOctober 9, 2023

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Even when the New York Jets win, something goes wrong.

Gang Green had some déjà vu in more ways than one on Sunday after it was revealed that offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker ruptured his Achilles in their 31-21 victory against the Denver Broncos.

Of course, Vera-Tucker is the second Jet to be lost for the year due to an Achilles injury – Aaron Rodgers suffered the same injury on just his fourth snap in a Jets uniform.

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Alijah Vera-Tucker

Alijah Vera-Tucker of the New York Jets on the line of scrimmage against the Steelers during a game at Acrisure Stadium on Oct. 2, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

But this also is the second straight season that Vera-Tucker suffered a season-ending injury at Mile High Stadium. Last season, he tore his triceps against the Broncos in their home stadium.

Head coach Robert Saleh said Vera-Tucker’s injury was a “concern” following Sunday’s win, but when the MRI revealed the bad news, he admitted they were still a bit “surprised.”

Alija Vera-Tucker lines up

Alijah Vera-Tucker of the New York Jets in action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium on Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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“We’re all kind of surprised because he played a play on it, he walked off under his own power, he walked to the locker room on his own power, so we were pretty optimistic that that part of it was going to be OK,” Saleh told reporters on Monday, via SNY. “But, it’s a blow. And again, I feel bad for him. He battled his way back this offseason from injury a year ago, and to have this happen again, it’s unfortunate.” 

The Jets still prevailed without the 14th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft – they also won without Rodgers in Week 1.

The Jets rallied behind a Breece Hall 72-yard touchdown and a Bryce Hall fumble return for a touchdown. The running back had 177 yards on the ground on 22 carries in what was a revenge game for him – he, too, suffered a season-ending injury last season in Denver when he tore his ACL and meniscus. Sunday marked his first game without limitations on snaps, and he sure made the best of it.

Alijah Vera-Tucker looks on

Alijah Vera-Tucker of the New York Jets prior to the Philadelphia Eagles game at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 5, 2021, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

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New York was forced to switch up its offensive line last week thanks to a combination of injury and poor play – with Duane Brown injured, the Jets moved Mekhi Becton back to the left side and moved Vera-Tucker from guard to tackle on the right side. But now, with Vera-Tucker having a Pro Bowl type season, they’ll have to make more changes.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

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