Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, making his debut with the New York Jets, was carted off the field after suffering a left Achilles injury on just his fourth play in the team’s Monday Night Football game against the Buffalo Bills and will miss the rest of the 2023 season.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters on a media call Tuesday: “He’s out for the year. He needs surgery.”
Saleh said he didn’t have information on the four-time Most Valuable Player’s surgery schedule and recovery process. At 39, Rodgers is the second oldest player in the league, and this was to be his 19th season.
Multiple sources told CNN that an MRI on Tuesday showed a complete tear of Rodgers’ left Achilles tendon.
Saleh told reporters, “We know it’s torn. That’s been confirmed.”
The injury occurred during the team’s first drive in the first quarter when Rodgers was sacked by Bills edge rusher Leonard Floyd.
Rodgers hobbled up for a few moments before going back down to the ground. He was attended to by the Jets’ medical staff before being helped off the field at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
After being looked at in the blue medical tent on the sidelines, the 39-year-old was taken to the locker room on a cart, and he missed the rest of the game.
Backup quarterback Zach Wilson entered the game for the injured Rodgers. Saleh said Tuesday Wilson is the No. 1 quarterback for the rest of the year.
Rodgers was the key acquisition in the offseason for the Jets, who haven’t made the playoffs since the 2010 season. Some NFL commentators thought Rodgers could deliver a chance at a postseason spot and perhaps a title.
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“We all wanted to see Aaron Rodgers out there, one of the greatest players to ever play the game,” CNN sports analyst and former NFL player Coy Wire said Tuesday morning. “Four-time league MVP and this was supposed to be the moment where he comes and brings the Jets back to their glory, which happened about 55 years ago when Broadway Joe (Namath) … that was their only Super Bowl title.”
The Jets edged the Bills, who are considered a Super Bowl contender – with a late touchdown Monday night and Wire thinks the New York team could still win a lot of games.
Before being traded in the offseason, Rodgers had spent the first 18 seasons of his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers, where he led the team to a 31-25 victory in Super Bowl XLV in 2011.
Rodgers won MVP awards in 2011, 2014, 2020 and 2021 while setting numerous records for his accuracy and deadliness over the years.