New York Jets Debut Ends in Heartbreak: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Injured 

“After years of searching, the New York Jets seemingly found their franchise quarterback. After months of anticipation, Aaron Rodgers finally made his debut as a Jet. After minutes of play, his season potentially came to an end as the New York Jets quarterback suffered an Achilles injury four plays into the Jets’ first possession of the season, exiting the game with more than 11 minutes remaining in the first quarter. While Rodgers attempted to roll out to avoid a sack by Buffalo Bills lineman Leonard Floyd, his foot planted awkwardly on the turf before he was taken down.


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Rodgers was slow to get to his feet and then immediately sat back down on the field. He was tended to by the Jets’ staff before being helped off the field and into the medical tent on the sideline. He returned to the locker room and was initially ruled questionable to return with an ankle injury before being downgraded to out.

Aaron Rodgers exits game early with ankle injury Aaron Rodgers left the game early in the first quarter against the Bills on Monday night and was questionable to return after the first quarter. Jets coach Robert Saleh said Rodgers will have an MRI on Tuesday that will likely confirm what the Jets fear they already know: a season-ending Achilles injury.


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Aaron Rodgers feared to have serious Achilles injury, Robert Saleh says “So, prayers tonight,” Saleh said after Monday night’s game. “But it’s not good.”

“Personally, I don’t hurt for me, I don’t hurt for our locker room, I hurt for Aaron,” Saleh later added. “I know how much he invested in all of this. So, I’m still going to say a prayer, I’m still going to hold out hope. But my heart is with Aaron right now and nowhere else.”

Even after a thrilling comeback victory, which was capped by rookie Xavier Gipson returning a punt 65 yards in overtime to give the Jets a 22-16 win over the Bills, there were mixed emotions in the locker room as players were questioned about the potential loss of Rodgers.


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“I have so much love for Aaron, so my heart goes out to him,” said Zach Wilson, who replaced Rodgers and went on to connect with Garrett Wilson for a game-tying touchdown with 4:55 remaining in regulation. “I know he’ll find a way to keep working to get back, but it’s tough. That hurts us as a team. But my job as quarterback is I gotta step up and I gotta be able to be as efficient as I can in that offense.”

Sauce Gardner said the defense felt the need to step up when Rodgers went down, saying “When we saw that, we put it all on us.”

“It is not something that I want to see, it is nothing any of us want to see,” Gardner said. “That’s my dawg, that’s my guy. He is a great teammate and great leader. It caught us off guard, but we dedicated winning the game to him.”


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The Jets acquired Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers in April, along with a 2023 fifth-round pick, in exchange for a 2023 second-rounder, a 2023 sixth-rounder and a conditional 2024 second-rounder. Shortly after, the Jets also signed two of Rodgers’ favorite targets in Green Bay, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, who now face the likelihood of playing without the quarterback who helped bring them to town.

‘Tough, obviously,” Lazard said. “Just seeing how he responded to getting up and everything, seeing him limp off the field, you could tell it wasn’t anything good. But honestly, it’s almost comical just how this whole off season played and for him to go down in the first game without even completing a pass and everything. This is the game of football, this is the game of life. At the end of the day, you gotta keep persevering, keep pushing through even when it gets tough sometimes. We’re gonna rally behind him regardless of if he’s gonna be back.”


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“That’s the game that we play,” he said. “Every moment we walk through that tunnel onto the field, we’re taking a risk. As you’ve seen over the course of football, injuries happen, it’s a part of the game. You never want to see it happen. But that’s part of it.”

Rodgers’ longtime tackle with the Packers, David Bakhtiari, sounded off on social media about artificial turf, which may have played a role in his former quarterback’s injury on Monday because of the tendency for a player’s foot to get stuck on the turf’s surface.

“Congrats @nfl,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “How many more players have to get hurt on ARTIFICIAL TURF??! You care more about soccer players than us. You plan to remove all artificial turf for the World Cup coming up. So clearly it’s feasible. I’m sick of this..Do better!”

Cobb agreed, criticizing the NFL for its continued use of turf fields.

“I’ve never been a fan of turf,” he said. “I never will be a fan of turf. It’s crazy that the MLS will change it up for Messi, Premier League will do everything they can to protect the players with grass fields. But the NFL is more worried about making money. Profit over people. It’s always been the case.”

Cobb was eager to finish his post game interview so he could reach out to Rodgers, a teammate he played 10 seasons with on the Packers and, to this point, a few short minutes with on the Jets.


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“I’m really just trying to get out of here so I can go call him and talk to him and check in on him,” Cobb said. “Be the best friend I can be for him. Just be there for him.”


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