Jets fear Aaron Rodgers suffered torn Achilles in Week 1 win

Jets fear Rodgers tore his Achilles
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) is tended to on the field during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

EAST RUTHERFORD — The joys of winning a divisional contest on a walk-off punt return can only go so far when you lose your franchise quarterback. 

That’s the reality the New York Jets are currently in following Monday Night’s walk-off victory over the Buffalo Bills that saw New York lose Aaron Rodgers in the game just four plays into his New York debut. It appears the injury was as alarming as it looked live. 

“We’re concerned with his Achilles. MRI is going to confirm what we think is going to happen so it’s not good,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said in regards to Rodgers’ injury. 

The Jets head coach confirmed that the team is feared to lose Rodgers to a torn Achilles that will cost him the 2023 regular season. 

“I don’t hurt for me, I don’t hurt for our team, I hurt for Aaron,” Saleh explained. “How much he invested in all of this. My heart is with him…I’ll say a prayer for him.”

If the MRI confirms that Rodgers is lost for the season, it would be a crippling blow to an organization that seemed to take a momentous turn during the offseason. Yes, they would retain their 2024 first-round pick as Rodgers would not play the required 65% of the snaps needed for Green Bay to be awarded a pick, but they lose out on a year with the dynamic of the team is full of talented players ready to win a Super Bowl. 

With Rodgers, the possibility was there. Now, there is all but uncertainty for the Jets’ long-term future and Rodgers’ future playing career. It’s hard to keep teams as talented as this in the salary cap era together. 

At 39 years old, there’s no guarantee the quarterback will be able to play at a high level. His “multi-year commitment” to the Jets can simply wash away without much cap constraints for either side. 

Aaron Rodgers leaves game in Jets debut
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) avoids a sack from Buffalo Bills defensive end Greg Rousseau (50) during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

In Rodgers’ place, New York has confirmed that they will roll with Zach Wilson as the starting quarterback. After a disappointing end to the season in which his leadership and effectiveness were called into question, Wilson was expected to sit and learn from a future Hall-of-Fame place. Now, he has to right the ship for a team expecting above-average quarterback play.

Wilson went 14/21 passing for 140 yards and a touchdown in Monday’s win.

For most of the game though, he appeared to be the same quarterback who the Jets had struggled with in the two years since making him the second-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

Still, the Jets remain confident in their young signal-caller. 

“I thought he was awesome,” Saleh said of Wilson’s Monday night performance. “He threw the interception but bounced back and didn’t snowball into anything big. We still have a lot of faith in him.”

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) passes against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

For Wilson, he’s ready for the challenge that awaits him now being thrust back into the starting role.

“My heart goes out to Aaron…he’ll find a way to keep working to get back. My job is to step up now,” Wilson stated. “I just have to keep getting better. Trust my feet, coaches, and the guys around me. Just do my best to keep improving as a player…I’m a lot more prepared.”

Wilson may be more prepared to handle the starting role this time, but there’s even more pressure on him to play at a high level than before. With Rodgers seemingly gone for the year and a make-or-break year for Saleh’s coaching staff, it seems the hopes and future of the Jets’ viability rests on their young, unproven quarterback. 

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