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Jets Sign Journeyman OL Caleb Benenoch

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

In the wake of several health issues for Jets offensive linemen, including today’s knee injury suffered by starting right tackle Mekhi Becton, the New York Jets have signed offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch.

Caleb Benenoch is a 28 year old, 6’ 5”, 305 pound offensive lineman out of UCLA. Benenoch was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was born in Nigeria and played soccer (called football in most of the rest of the world outside the United States). He moved to the United States at the age of nine and started playing American football by accident after his mother signed him up to play football (which she believed to be what Americans call soccer).

In Tampa Bay Benenoch earned substantial playing time in his second season, and worked his way up to starting all 16 games at guard in his third season in 2018. It did not go particularly well, and Benenoch has played in just one NFL game since the 2018 season while bouncing around multiple rosters. Since 2018 Benenoch has been signed and cut by the Patriots, Panthers, Cowboys, Lions, Patriots (again), Bills, Saints, and now the Jets. His only NFL action since 2018 came in one start last year with the New Orleans Saints.

In his limited NFL action Benenoch has played both guard positions as well as a little right tackle. He has struggled in pass protection. In 2017 he started five games at right tackle and gave up four sacks. In 2018 he started 16 games at right guard and gave up 10 sacks. These are probably not the kind of numbers Jets fans are eager to see for a player intended to provide protection for Zach Wilson. On the other hand, this player is probably not being counted on to notch significant playing time for the Jets. More likely Benenoch is just a placeholder who provides a big body for Jets practices until cutdown day.