Aaron Rodgers’ season is officially over.
An MRI on Tuesday confirmed that Rodgers sustained an Achilles injury in the New York Jets’ 22-16 overtime win against the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That ends Rodgers’ first season with the Jets after just one game.
Rodgers lasted just four plays in Monday night’s season opener at MetLife Stadium. The injury occurred after Rodgers was sacked by Bills defensive end Leonard Floyd. The play looked routine at first. Rodgers even stood back up, but quickly sat back down on the turf while looking over to the sidelines.
The team’s training staff ran out, helped him off the field and into the medical tent. A cart came and picked him up soon after. The team initially said Rodgers was dealing with an ankle injury, but head coach Robert Saleh said after the game that they feared it was his Achilles. An MRI on Tuesday then confirmed that belief, which ended Rodgers’ season officially.
The Jets landed Rodgers in a trade with the Green Bay Packers this past offseason, which sent already sky high expectations for the franchise through the roof. The Jets haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010, which is the longest drought in the league, and they were featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” during training camp. Rodgers, a four-time league MVP, spent his entire 18-year career in Green Bay before the trade.
Now, though, it’s fair to wonder about his future in the league at all. Recovering from an Achilles injury is no easy task, especially for a 39-year-old quarterback. He said he was nearly retired before entering a darkness retreat earlier this year, too, but ended up signing a three-year reworked deal with the Jets. The plan, he said in August, was for a “few-years partnership.”
That question, however, isn’t likely to be answered until the end of the season. In the meantime, the Jets are now tasked with finding Rodgers’ replacement. And at least for now, that appears to be Zach Wilson.
Wilson, who the Jets selected with the No. 2 pick in 2021, largely struggled with the franchise. He was benched for a lot of last season while the team opted to go with Mike White and Joe Flacco. Wilson went 14-of-21 for 140 yards and threw both a touchdown and interception in Monday night’s win after taking over for Rodgers. He didn’t look awful, but he wasn’t great, either. Running back Breece Hall, who racked up 127 yards on 10 carries, and defensive back Jordan Whitehead, who had an incredible three interceptions, carried much of the load and kept the team in it against the Bills.
The Jets could bring in a new quarterback in the near future, which may be a smart move. But any such deal would likely take at least a few weeks, which means that Wilson is in line to start for the Jets in their Week 2 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys — who beat the New York Giants 40-0 in their season opener — next Sunday.
While there are plenty of questions to be answered, one thing is abundantly clear. The Rodgers era in New York ended before it could really begin.