Aaron Rodgers has a torn left Achilles tendon, according to a person familiar with the diagnosis, and the 39-year-old quarterback will likely miss the remainder of the New York Jets’ season.
An MRI on Tuesday confirmed the four-time NFL MVP’s injury, the person told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced it. Coach Robert Saleh was scheduled to speak to reporters on a video call later Tuesday.
NFL Network first reported that Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon, confirming the Jets’ fears. Torn Achilles tendons typically take several months to recover from due to the extensive rehabilitation required.
“Concerned about his Achilles tendon,” Saleh said after the Jets’ 22-16 overtime win over Buffalo on Monday night. “The MRI will probably confirm what we think is going to happen, so prayers tonight. But it’s not good.
In his fourth regular season game in a Jets uniform, Rodgers tried to avoid a rushing Leonard Floyd, who wrapped up the quarterback and sent him rolling across the MetLife Stadium turf. Rodgers stood up after a few moments, looked toward the Jets sideline, then sat down on the turf, apparently knowing he was seriously injured.
He needed help from coaches to get to the New York bench, where he was taken to the blue medical tent to be examined. Rodgers then rode a cart to the locker room, jumped near the tunnel and limped inside.
Zach Wilson replaced Rodgers just 3:45 into the game and finished 14 of 21 for 140 yards with a touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson and an interception in the win.
The third-year quarterback will now start for the Jets on Sunday in Dallas – and for the foreseeable future.
Wilson praised the work Rodgers did with him during the offseason and training camp, helping him feel “much more prepared” to take the next step in his development.
“The hardest part now is putting it in play and I have to be able to do that,” Wilson said Monday night. “Going into this week, it’s about applying everything he’s helped us through and being able to watch him and the coaches how they’ve handled this offense. I need to be able to handle this effectively.
Rodgers, who spent his first 18 seasons with Green Bay, was acquired by the Jets in April and immediately raised expectations for the frustrated franchise.
He gave 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.
But now he will have to focus on a long recovery and rehabilitation process, which could make his playing future uncertain.
The situation evoked eerily similar memories of 1999, when Vinny Testaverde — who, coincidentally, was the Jets’ honorary captain Monday night — ruptured his Achilles tendon early in New York’s season opener. York vs. New England.
Like this year’s team, these Jets had Super Bowl aspirations after appearing in the AFC Championship Game the previous season. New York instead finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
With Rodgers likely out for the season, New York won’t give up a first-round pick to Green Bay next year as part of the terms of the trade. He will remain a second-round pick who could have become a first-round pick if Rodgers had played 65% of the Jets’ plays this season.
The Packers also received the 13th overall pick, a second rounder and a sixth rounder in this year’s draft in exchange for Rodgers, the 15th overall pick and a fifth rounder this year.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL