Aaron Rodgers injures Achilles tendon in first series for Jets
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers’ debut with the New York Jets lasted just four snaps.
And now the four-time MVP and a shell-shocked fan base will have to see how long he could be sidelined.
Coach Robert Saleh said the team believed Rodgers injured his left Achilles tendon when he was sacked by Buffalo’s Leonard Floyd and fell awkwardly on his leg during Buffalo’s win. 22-16 in overtime against the Bills on Monday night.
“Concerned about his Achilles. The MRI will probably confirm what we think is going to happen, so prayers tonight. But it’s not good,” said a somber Saleh.
Saleh said Rodgers, 39, will have an MRI on Tuesday after X-rays during the game came back negative. NFL Network reported that Rodgers’ left foot was in a black walking boot as he was carried to the X-ray room.
“Personally, I don’t do bad things for myself, I don’t do bad things for our locker room,” Saleh said. “I feel bad for Aaron and how much he invested in this. I’m going to say a prayer. I will still have hope. But my heart is with Aaron right now, with no one else.
After a 26-yard run by Breece Hall on the Jets’ opening play, Rodgers threw his first pass after taking heavy pressure from Greg Rousseau. Rodgers threw incomplete on the next play, but Terrel Bernard was called for a defensive holding.
Then, Rodgers tried to avoid a rushing Floyd, who wrapped up the quarterback and took him to the MetLife Stadium turf. Rodgers appeared to look at his leg before trainers attended to him. He got up after a few moments, but needed help to get to the New York sideline.
Rodgers was taken to the blue medical tent to be examined – then sat on a gurney. Halfway to the locker room, he jumped off the cart and limped inside.
“Obviously, just seeing how he reacted to getting up and everything and limping off the field, it was nothing good,” receiver Allen Lazard, who played five seasons with Rodgers, told Green Bay. “But honestly, it’s almost comical how this whole offseason has gone for him losing the first game without even completing a pass and everything.”
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Zach Wilson replaced Rodgers just 3:45 into the game and finished 14 of 21 for 140 yards, including a touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson and an interception.
The third-year quarterback would start for the Jets next Sunday in Dallas if Rodgers, as expected, is sidelined.
“Yeah, it’ll be him,” Saleh said.
The injury silenced a crowd that was loud just minutes earlier, anticipating Rodgers’ Big Apple debut. The Jets haven’t reached the Super Bowl since Joe Namath won the franchise’s only championship during the 1968 season, and frustrated fans hoped Rodgers’ arrival was the first step in returning to the big game.
Rodgers ran onto the field during player introductions with an American flag in hand on the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks and received his first official welcome from Jets fans.
With hip-hop artist and actor Method Man announcing Rodgers’ name — accompanied by a laser light show — the quarterback received warm applause.
New York acquired Rodgers, the 15th overall pick and a fifth-rounder in this year’s draft from Green Bay on April 26. In exchange, the Packers got the 13th overall pick, a second round, a sixth round and a conditional one. 2024 second-round pick that could become a first-rounder if Rodgers plays 65% of New York’s games this season – a scenario that now seems highly unlikely.
Rodgers, who spent his first 18 seasons with Green Bay, raised expectations for the Jets and their fans when he said he expected to win in New York and emphasized during his press conference that introduction that the team’s only Super Bowl trophy seemed “lonely.” »
If healthy, he would give the Jets their most accomplished quarterback since Brett Favre, acquired from Green Bay in 2008 – paving the way for Rodgers to become the Packers’ signal caller.
Rodgers, who has repeatedly said he won’t be done with the Jets, agreed in July to a restructured contract that gives him $75 million in fully guaranteed money for this season and next. That represents a pay cut of nearly $35 million from the deal he made with Green Bay in which he was to guarantee $110 million.
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