The Jets’ fears for Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles injury were confirmed on Tuesday.
NFL Media reported that an MRI has confirmed Rodgers has suffered a torn Achilles tendon in his left leg. The injury ends Rodgers’ first season in New York just four snaps after it began.
The veteran quarterback suffered the injury on his third dropback in Monday’s game against the Bills when edge rusher Leonard Floyd sacked him. Slow-motion replays showed that Rodgers’ left foot appeared to get briefly stuck in the MetLife Stadium turf on the play. He initially got up from the sack, but went back down, sitting on the turf for a few moments before needing assistance to get back to the sideline.
[Henry McKenna: With Aaron Rodgers injured, what do the Jets do now?]
After getting evaluated in the Jets’ blue medical tent, Rodgers was carted off the sideline before walking back to the locker room. He got an X-ray shortly after, which came back negative, but the Jets feared that it was an Achilles-related injury.
Rodgers reportedly left the stadium during the game and didn’t speak with reporters following New York’s dramatic overtime win. Jets coach Robert Saleh wasn’t optimistic about the injury when he met with reporters following the game.
“Concerned with his Achilles,” Saleh said. “MRI’s probably going to confirm what we think is already going to happen with his Achilles, so prayers tonight. But, it’s not good.”
Aaron Rodgers out for season with Achilles tear
Entering the 2023 season, the Jets were one of the most hyped teams in the league because of Rodgers’ arrival via trade from the Packers. The Jets quickly became one of the betting favorites to win the AFC and the Super Bowl after they acquired the future Hall of Famer, seemingly solving the quarterback woes that have plagued the franchise for more than a decade. Adding to the hype, the Jets were the team featured on the latest season of “Hard Knocks,” allowing fans to get a closer look at Rodgers as he got acclimated to his new team.
Even though the Jets came away victorious in Monday’s game, the hype surrounding the team for the remainder of the 2023 season quickly dipped as New York’s odds to win the division, conference and Super Bowl dropped significantly on Tuesday. Zach Wilson, whom the Jets selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and started for much of the past two seasons, was the team’s quarterback for the remainder of Monday’s game, completing 14 of 21 passes for 140 yards, one touchdown and an interception in the win.
While Wilson’s struggles seemed to hold the team back the past two years and precipitated the trade for Rodgers, Saleh confirmed that the third-year quarterback will be New York’s starter moving forward.
“Yeah, he’ll be the guy,” Saleh said postgame.
Will Zach Wilson be able to step up for Jets without Aaron Rodgers?
It’s “unlikely” that the Jets will add a veteran quarterback, NFL Media reported Tuesday.
In terms of long-term ramifications from the injury, the conditional 2024 second-round pick the Jets sent the Packers will almost certainly not convey into a first-round pick. Rodgers needed to play at least 65 percent of the Jets’ offensive snaps in 2023 in order for the pick to change from a second-round selection to a first-rounder.
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Rodgers, who turns 40 in December, restructured his contract over the summer, giving him a three-year, $112.5 million deal that includes $75 million in guaranteed money for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. Prior to his trade to the Jets, Rodgers said in February that he felt he was “90 percent retired,” but after the deal and the contract restructure, he anticipated playing in New York for the foreseeable future.
“This is going to be a few-years partnership,” Rodgers told reporters in August.
It’s unclear if those plans will change following Monday’s injury.
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