Aaron Rodgers’ season is officially over.
An MRI on Tuesday confirmed that Rodgers sustained a torn Achilles 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.
The Jets themselves wished Rodgers well on social media before placing him on injured reserve Tuesday.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 12, 2023
Jets coach Robert Saleh then confirmed the tear on Tuesday afternoon, and said Rodgers will need surgery.
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.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 12, 2023
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 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.
Jets turn to Zach Wilson at QB: 'This is Zach's team'
In the meantime, the Jets are now tasked with finding Rodgers’ replacement. For now, Saleh said on Tuesday, that's going to be Zach Wilson.
"From a mental standpoint, he's so much different than this time a year ago," Saleh said of Wilson on Tuesday, via Yahoo Sports' Jori Epstein. "He's fixed a lot of things."
Wilson, who the Jets selected with the No. 2 pick in 2021, has largely struggled as a pro. 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 three interceptions Monday night, carried much of the load and kept the team in it against the Bills.
The Jets will look to bring in a new quarterback in the near future, too, but that's not to replace Wilson.
"Under no circumstances is any of this a competition," Saleh said. "This is Zach's team."
Any such deal would likely take at least a few weeks anyways, 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.
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 this season.