Heading into the 2023 season, the New York Jets believed they finally had the missing piece after acquiring Aaron Rodgers this offseason in a trade with Green Bay.
The former Packers quarterback seemed reinvigorated and ready to be the one to put the Jets back on top, likely hoping he could repeat the same success Tom Brady had down in Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers.
He took the field on Monday night against the Bills in front of a sold-out crowd at MetLife, ready to begin that journey after a long offseason.
Rodgers lasted all of 11 minutes before that came to an abrupt end.
His time under center saw him take just four snaps, one of which was wiped out on a defensive holding penalty by Buffalo as he threw his second incompletion, which, thanks to the Bills miscue, won’t count against him on the stat sheet.
But the next play saw him get dropped for a sack as Bills linebacker Leonard Floyd got to him and wrapped him up, with Rodgers trying to twist away with his foot getting caught underneath him as he went to the turf.
Rodgers stood up and then immediately sat back down and looked to the sidelines.
Out came the Jets training staff, and just like that, MetLife Stadium got really, really quiet.
He was helped off the field and into the medical tent, with a cart soon meeting him and bringing him back to the tunnel as he was placed in a walking boot before heading off for what appears to potentially be the final time of 2023.
“Concerned with his Achilles,” said head coach Robert Saleh after the game. “It’s not good.”
Rodgers is reportedly set to get an MRI on Tuesday, but it’s likely just a formality to learn the severity of the injury. Even a partial tear is bad news and would presumably confirm the veteran’s season is done.
For a team that had one of the better defenses in the league last season but just couldn’t put points on the board to support it, Rodgers was supposed to be exactly what the Jets needed. His teammates were wowed by him throughout training camp and anyone who watched Hard Knocks likely saw how high their confidence was heading into last night.
With Rodgers, the expectations were that he’d not only put the Jets back into contention within the Division, but possibly even take them deep into the postseason and give them a taste of what it was like to be a contender.
Instead, all of that was dashed. Now they’re back to seeing Zach Wilson struggle to execute their offense while nearly squandering a defensive effort that saw them take the football away from Josh Allen four times last night.
Fortunately, a 65-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Xavier Gipson in overtime delivered the knockout blow to the Bills, which at least gave Jets fans something positive to take away on the drive home.
But as for what happens next? As Saleh said, it’s probably not good.
And just like that, the Jets now likely have yet another long season ahead of them.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Aaron Rodgers New York Jets