New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered an Achilles tendon tear, the NFL confirmed on Tuesday, a catastrophic injury that’ll sideline him for the rest of 2023 — and could potentially end his career.
“I feel more for Aaron than anyone,” Jets coach Robert Saleh told reporters on Tuesday. “He’s invested so much into this organization, so much into this journey that he’s embarked on.”
The coach insisted his team is focused on the next 16 games, even without its revered quarterback.
“I have a lot of emotions for him,” Saleh said. “It’s really all about him. I don’t look at it as, ‘Woe is me’ here. I think guys are excited about being able to step up and continue the things we’ve been building, but (there’s) a lot of hurt for Aaron.”
The future Hall of Fame quarterback, whose addition to the Jets was one of football’s most talked-about off-season acquisitions, was helped off the field following a sack by the Bills’ Leonard Floyd.
Rodgers, who turns 40 later this year, had spent this entire career with the Green Bay Packers before coming to the Jets, in hopes of revitalizing the franchise that’s endured seven consecutive losing seasons.
Rodgers took four snaps against the Bills on Monday: Handing it off to running back Breece Hall for a 26-yard gain, throwing an incomplete pass and drawing a 5-yard Buffalo penalty before the sack by Floyd.
In his chats with Rogers since Monday night’s jury, Saleh said he didn’t ask his star QB if he wants to play next season. The rest and recovery time is at least one year for this kind of injury.
“As you guys could imagine, he’s down. I’ll let him answer those questions. I did not get into the future of what he’s expecting or what he’s thinking,” Saleh said.
“That’s a conversation tactfully left for another day. But as you can imagine, with everything that he’s invested and it lasting four plays, he’s a obviously a little disappointed.”
His season will end with a meager stat line of a single passing attempt, no completions, zero yards and a QB rating of 39.6.
Rodgers’ arrival to the Jets had sent optimism among the New York faithful through the roof, with HBO’s popular reality show “Hard Knocks” following Gang Green’s preseason preparation.
Sports talk personality Pat McAfee, who is close to Rodgers and was the QB’s media conduit during Covid-19, predicted the signal caller won’t let his career end with that sack on Monday night.
“He is obviously devastated. This is a very, very, very, very bad morning in Aaron Rodgers’ world,” McAfee told viewers on Tuesday.
“He went all in for this. For it all to just disappear before even getting to reap the benefit from that, I personally — and this is with no information from Aaron Rodgers — I don’t think he’s going to go out like that.”
The first-round draft pick played well enough on Monday night to complement the Jets’ dominant defense and special teams, who did most of the heavy lifting in defeating Buffalo, among the early Super Bowl favorites, 22-16 in overtime.